Kamini (Kalpakkam Mini) reactor is a Uranium-233 fueled, demineralized light water moderated and cooled, beryllium oxide reflected, low power nuclear research reactor located in the post irradiation examination facility of Radio Metallurgy Laboratory, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, India.
This reactor functions as a neutron source with a flux of 1012 n cm-2 s-1 at core centre and facilitates carrying out neutron radiography of radioactive and non-radioactive objects and neutron activation analysis. Facilities are also available in the reactor for carrying out radiation physics research, irradiation of larger samples and calibration and testing of neutron detectors.
The location of the reactor in the post irradiation examination facility enables carrying out neutron radiography of spent fuel and other radioactive objects discharged from the neighbouring Fast Breeder Test Reactor without the need to transport radioactive material over long distances.
Kamini reactor was designed and built jointly by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research.
The reactor fuel is an alloy of Uranium-233 and Aluminium in the form of flat plates. The plates are assembled in an aluminium casing to form the fuel subassemblies. The reflector consists of modules of Beryllium oxide encased in Zircaloy sheath. These modules are assembled to surround the fuel. Demineralized light water is used as moderator, coolant as well as shield. Cooling of the reactor core is by natural convection. Facility is available for cooling this water using a heat exchanger to maintain the water temperature at a steady value when the reactor is operated for long durations at higher powers. An online demineralizer plant maintains the water quality so that corrosion rate and radioactivity level in water are low. A waste disposal system is provided for collection and disposal of radioactive effluents when required. Start up and regulation of the reactor is done by adjusting the positions of two safety control plates made of Cadmium which is sandwiched in Aluminium. These plates are provided with gravity drop mechanism for rapid shutdown of the reactor. Provision is available for closed loop servocontrol to operate the reactor at different power levels by adjusting the position of the safety control plate.
(Retrieved from KAMINI website.)