SSC General Science & Technology Sample Paper NCERT Sample Paper-4

  • question_answer
    Consider the following statements regarding India's Nuclear Programme
    1. In the first stage, India is using natural uranium as fuel to Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR).
    2. In the second stage, plutonium reprocessed from the spent fuel of the PHWRs, depleted uranium and thorium kept in the blanket form will be used as fuel to power a series of breeder reactors. Thorium used in the breeders gets converted into uranium-233, a fissile material.
    3. In the third stage, reactors will use thorium and uranium- 233 to generate electricity.
    4. India's Nuclear Fuel Complex is in Hyderabad.
    Which of the above statements are correct?

    A)  1 and 3

    B)  1, 3 and 4

    C)  1, 2 and 3        

    D)  All of these

    Correct Answer: D

    Solution :

    [d] India's three-stage nuclear power programme was formulated by Homi Bhabha in the 1950s to secure the country's long term energy independence, through the use of uranium and thorium reserves     found     in the monazite sands of coastal regions of South India. The ultimate focus of the programme is on enabling the thorium reserves of India to be utilised in meeting the country's energy requirements. Thorium is particularly attractive for India, as it has only around 1-2% of the global uranium reserves, but one of the largest shares of global thorium reserves at about 25% of the world's known thorium reserves. However, thorium is not economically viable because global uranium prices are much lower. In the first stage of the programme, natural uranium fuelled pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) produce electricity while generating plutonium-239 as by product. In the second stage, fast breeder reactors (FBRs) would use a mixed oxide (MOX) fuel made from plutonium-239, recovered by reprocessing spent fuel from the first stage, and natural uranium. A Stage III reactor or an advanced nuclear power system involves a self-sustaining series ofthorium-232-uranium-233 fuelled reactors. This would be a thermal breeder reactor, which in principle can be refueled - after its initial fuel charge - using only naturally occurring thorium. According to the three-stage programme, Indian nuclear energy could grow to about 10 GW through PHWRs fueled by domestic uranium, and the growth above that would have to come from FBRs till about 50GW.

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