Besides offering Ph.D. and M.Tech. degrees in the area of Nuclear Engineering & Technology, the programme provides research and development expertise in the experimental and theoretical studies of fusion and plasma physics, radio isotope applications in manufacturing engineering, computer aided tomography, reactor safety studies, heat transfer in nuclear sub-systems, and development of radiation detectors.
About NET programme
To provide safe nuclear energy to fuel India’s ambitious nuclear energy growth, safety research, new materials development and strengthening of the safeguard regime is imperative. The Nuclear Engineering and Technology (NET-IITK) programmme within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT-Kanpur is extensively researching nuclear safety issues, heat transfer behavior for safe operation, accident detection systems, radioactive release mitigations systems etc.
Further, NET-IITK is also involved in the development of technology to support the development of new generation of nuclear reactors such as molten salt reactors like the prototype fast breeder reactor constructed in Kalpakkam. Gas cooled reactors being studied at IITK could be used to support other advanced technologies such as hydrogen production to fuel the transport sector using green energy. In particular, the following areas are being studied at NET-IITK:
New nuclear fuel types for heavy and light water reactor, molten salt, and gas reactors
Structural and material integrity of new fuel elements with the help of experiments and simulations
Safeguards techniques and laboratory measurements to verify the International Atomic Energy Agency inspections
Development of radiation detectors to support safe and secure operation of nuclear power
A future ready programme
To further research efforts on nuclear energy development the following research facilities are being planned at IIT-K:
i. Control-room simulator for operational training: This facility will be used to provide training in reactor physics, kinetics, and dynamics. Such a facility would be critical for training next generation of nuclear operators
ii. Criticality experiments research facility for operational training: This facility will be used to train engineers in reactor safety practices, to teach and illustrate the issues related to nuclear criticality. This facility may also be used for experiments requiring high neutron flux to perform nondestructive testing of material.
iii. Special nuclear material detection and identification center for safeguards and security: This facility, being actively developed, would provide the country with highly sensitive indigenously developed radiation detectors to identify and characterize special nuclear material of strategic significance.
Manpower Training and Capacity Building
At present NET-IITK offers Ph.D., M.Tech., and Minor for B.Tech. students in Nuclear Engineering and Technology. The existing NET courses, laboratories, as well as the facilities proposed above such as the control-room simulator and the criticality experiments research facility will be used to train operators and engineers for nuclear energy applications.