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The Apsara nuclear reactor

Apsara nuclear reactor

Latitude 19.007778 Longitude 72.918285

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Scientists on Friday celebrated 50 years of India's first nuclear research reactor Apsara, which has played a key role in research in areas as diverse as forensic science and the study of lunar and meteorite fragments.

There has been no looking back for the country's atomic programme since Apsara went critical exactly 50 years ago on this day, said Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Director Srikumar Banerjee.
Apsara, a 'swimming pool-type' indigenous reactor that initially used highly enriched uranium from Britain, has played a crucial role in developing several programmes with applications in power, agriculture and health, Banerjee said at the golden jubilee celebrations at BARC.
The reactor is also extensively used by forensic scientists and analytical chemists for studying a wide range of materials, including moon rock samples of the Apollo mission to meteor remnants that fell to earth in Orissa in 2003.

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The Apsara nuclear reactor in Trombay went critical on August 4, 1956, and became Asia's first nuclear reactor.
Imported from France, Apsara was so named by then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru when he likened the blue Cerenkov-radiation to the beauty of the apsaras - celestial dancers in the court of mythical lord Indra.

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