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INS Vishal Not to be Nuclear-powered as BARC Says 15 Years Will be Needed to Develop Reactor

A vessel of the size of INS Vishal will require 500-550 Megawatts, which will take 15-20 years to become completely operational.

Updated: October 27, 2017 3:29 PM IST

By India.com News Desk

INS Vishal Not to be Nuclear-powered as BARC Says 15 Years Will be Needed to Develop Reactor
Photo For Representation.

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.

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.

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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?”

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.

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