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Historical Background of Heavy Water

The research in Heavy Water production was initiated by the Chemical Engineering division of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in the 60s and was continued by the Heavy Water Division of the Centre where a Pilot Plant was operated for studying the H2S-H20 exchange process. While these studies were in progress, a Heavy Water Plant at Nangal in Punjab was set up and commissioned in August, 1962.

To have a share of at least 10% of the national power demand by 2000 A.D., Department of Atomic Energy embarked on an ambitious programme of producing nuclear power of 10,000 MWe which required setting up a number of heavy water plants. This was also the time when the need for a separate organisation to oversee the planning and setting up of Heavy Water Plants was strongly felt. Accordingly an organisation known as the Heavy Water Projects was set up on May 1, 1969. The unit was headed by Shri S. Fareeduddin, eminent chemical engineer and Padmashree of 1967 for his outstanding contribution in the front end of nuclear fuel cycle. This was later renamed as Heavy Water Board with effect from February 17, 1989. Almost the entire group headed by Shri P.G. Deshpande of Heavy Water section BARC and Shri K.S. Bimbhat of HWB Nangal was transferred to Heavy Water Project in early 1969 where formed the core groups for H2S-H2O and NH3-H2 process respectively.

Heavy Water Plants based on Ammonia-Hydrogen exchange process were set up at Baroda and Tuticorin.

First plant based on Hydrogen Sulphide-water exchange process developed indigenously was set up at Rawatbhata near Kota, Rajasthan.

At present there are seven heavy water plants in India.

 
Men at the Helm

 

No. Name & Designation Period
1. Shri S. Fareeduddin
OSD & Project Director
May, 1969 - June, 1980
2. Shri N. Srinivasan
Project Director, Chief Executive & Chairman
July, 1980 - April, 1987
3. Shri S.M. Sundaram
Chief Executive & Chairman
May, 1987 - March, 1992
4. Shri S. Sharma
Chief Executive & Chairman
April, 1992 - Sept, 1995
5. Shri R.K. Bhargava
Chief Executive & Chairman
Oct, 1995 - Nov, 1996
6. Shri N.N. Khurana
Chairman
Dec, 1996 - Feb, 1997
7. Shri S.P. Mukherjee
Chief Executive
Dec, 1996 - Feb, 1997
8. Shri S.P. Mukherjee
Chairman & Chief Executive
March, 1997 - Sept, 1998
9. Shri H. S. Kamath
Chairman & Chief Executive
Sept, 1998 - June, 2002
10. Shri S.C. Hiremath
Chairman & Chief Executive
July, 2002 - January 2007
11. Shri A.L.N Rao
Chairman & Chief Executive
February 2007 - March, 2011
12. Shri Rajnish Prakash
Chairman & Chief Executive
April 2011 - Continuing
 
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