New Delhi, Oct 27: India’s second indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vishal, which is under development, will not be nuclear-powered as country’s premier nuclear institution, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has said that it would take 15-20 years to develop a nuclear reactor capable enough to propel the 65,000-70,000 tonne vessel.Also Read - Rohit Sharma-Led India to Play Two Warm-up Games vs Western Australia XI as Part of T20 World Cup Build-up - Report
Business Standard said in a report that BARC has developed a nuclear reactor that generates 190 Megawatts power. The reactor is used in India’s first indigenous nuclear-capable submarine, INS Arihant. However, a vessel of the size of INS Vishal will require 500-550 Megawatts, which will take 15-20 years to become completely operational. Apart from miniaturising the reactor, one challenge for BARC will be to make it impervious to the marine environment. Also Read - Viral Video: Man Feeds Water to Injured Snake, Kindness Impresses The Internet | Watch
There is also a dispute regarding who will foot the bill for the 500 Megawatt reactor. A navy admiral told Business Standard: “BARC wants us to place a ‘development contract’ to fund the reactor’s development. Why should we do that?” Also Read - Woman Traces Phone Snatcher With Smartwatch, Hits Him In Head, Grabs It Back After 3 Hrs Chase In Gurugram
An Integrated Electric Propulsion System (IEPS) will replace nuclear reactor in the original plan. The gas turbine-based drive generators will produce electricity, which will rotate motors to give power to the propellers.
In a nuclear-powered vessel, the electricity is generated by generators that are run by steam produced by the nuclear reactor.
INS Vishal will have a capacity to house 55 aircraft and will also have the “electromagnetic aircraft launch system” (EMALS) to catapult aircraft off the carrier.