Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Visakhapatnam emerging as nuclear city

By Syed Akbar
The serene port city of Visakhapatnam is all set to go "nuclear" and play a key role in meeting the energy requirements of the country. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre's campus is fast coming up here and once completed Visakhapatnam will get the nuclear tag.
Besides advancing into the nuclear threshold, Visakhapatnam has of late emerged as a city of science and technology with several research and development institutions either opening their campuses in the port city, or planning to do so.
The Barc campus coming up on a 3000-acre site at Achyutapuram will give boost to research in nuclear sciences including finding out the ways and means of overcoming the energy shortage through advanced nuclear energy reactors.
The Homi Bhabha National Institute, a deemed university offering graduate programmes in nuclear science, is also fast coming up at Achyutapuram in the city outskirts. India has a shortage of nuclear scientists and the proposed deemed university will help in overcoming this problem. Barc will also extend academics-related facilities in Andhra University.
Says Prof T Sitaram Reddy, former head of the department of Nuclear Physics, Andhra University, "Visakhapatnam takes the credit for pioneering research in nuclear physics and chemical technology. The Barc campus will give impetus for collaborative research. In fact, all the science departments in Andhra University have signed pact with BARC," he says.
Visakhapatnam will have state-of-the-art technology in nuclear power like accelerator driven reactor and most of the development will be for peaceful application, Prof Reddy said.
The location of the Barc centre assumes significance as Visakhapatnam if fast emerging as a strategic location for naval establishments, new nuclear base and other defence institutions.
The establishment of a centre of the National Institute of Oceanography has put Visakhapatnam at an advantageous position. The NIO centre has been carrying out research on monsoons, weather conditions and sea environment, besides gathering enough oceanographic data to chalk out strategies for harnessing the oceans.
Educationist Prof N Someswara Rao says students in the city, particularly of Andhra University, will have an added advantage of gaining access to the Barc for high standard of research.
Already Visakhapatnam boasts of the Naval Science and Technological Laboratories, and the Indian Maritime University (formerly National Ship Design Research Centre). Visakhapatnam has contributed a lot to the development of underwater mines, torpedoes, weapon launchers and decoys.

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