“Bhabha’s views were no different”, he observed, “what the developed countries have and underdeveloped lack is modern science and an economy based on modern technology.” (Dr. Bhabas birth centenary was celebrated in Dec. 2009).
Nuclear power generation was initiated in India in July 1969 with the commissioning of the Tarapur atomic power plant of 440 MW in Maharashtra. The second atomic power plant was commissioned in August 1972 at Rana Pratap Sagar in Rajasthan.
The Tarapur atomic plant was set up with technical and financial aid from the United States of America. The Canadian government rendered the necessary expertise for the Rana Pratap Sagar atomic power plant.
In the 1950s, India’s nuclear planners drew up a three-stage plan for nuclear power development. Stage one was to consist of operating power plants using Indian uranium and also producing plutonium.
In stage two, plutonium would be used in fast breeder reactors which could yield more plutonium and uranium 233 from thorium of which India has an abundance. In the third and final stage, India would use U-233 to sustain breeders, which would convert thorium into U-233, thereby achieving self-reliance.