Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is one of India's premier nuclear research facilities located near Mumbai at Trombay. Established in 1954, BARC is a multi-disciplinary research center with its focus on nuclear science and technology, including nuclear energy, radiation protection, and nuclear medicine.
Trombay is a suburban area in the eastern part of Mumbai, located approximately 30 km from the city center. It is situated on the coast of the Arabian Sea and adjacent to the Mumbai Harbour, which makes it an ideal location for the transportation of nuclear materials.
The history of BARC can be traced back to the establishment of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Bombay in 1945. TIFR was set up to stimulate research in the field of basic science, and it was here that India's first nuclear reactor, Apsara, was developed in 1956. Following the success of Apsara, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was set up in 1948, and BARC was established in 1954 as a subsidiary of the AEC.
Throughout the years, BARC has played a significant role in the development of the Indian nuclear programme. Besides Apsara, BARC has developed many other nuclear reactors, including the CIRUS, Dhruva, and the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR). These reactors have contributed significantly to the country's energy needs and have played a role in the development of nuclear technology.
BARC is also involved in several other areas, such as materials science, electronics, computer science, and the life sciences. It has made significant contributions to the development of nuclear medicine, and BARC is one of the few facilities worldwide to produce medical isotopes.
The research conducted at BARC has led to the development of several techno-economic projects such as the installation of nuclear power plants, nuclear desalination projects, and the development of radiation processing technology. Moreover, BARC has also been actively involved in training personnel from different organizations and students from various academic institutions.
The location of BARC in Trombay is due to several reasons, but the primary reason is its proximity to Mumbai. Mumbai is one of the largest and busiest cities in India, making it an ideal location for the nuclear facility's operations.
Trombay is situated on the eastern part of Mumbai, which is relatively less populated than the western part of the city. The area is well-connected with Mumbai by various means, such as road, rail, and waterways. Moreover, Trombay is situated close to the Mumbai Harbour, which plays a crucial role in transporting nuclear materials to and from the facility.
The location of BARC in Trombay is also advantageous in terms of availability of resources. Trombay is situated on the coast of the Arabian Sea, which provides access to the seawater that is required for the cooling of nuclear reactors. Besides, the area has access to the necessary infrastructure such as power, water, and communication facilities that are required for BARC's smooth operation.
Another significant advantage of BARC's location is the availability of a highly skilled workforce. Mumbai is known for its high-quality education facilities, which attract students from all over India. Moreover, the presence of several prestigious educational institutions in Mumbai, such as the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), has helped in the development of a skilled workforce that is well versed in the field of nuclear science and technology.
In conclusion, the importance of BARC in the development of the Indian nuclear programme cannot be overstated. The location of BARC in Trombay is critical to its operations, and several factors such as its proximity to Mumbai, the availability of resources, and the availability of a highly skilled workforce have contributed to its success. Despite some criticism over nuclear power, the BARC will continue to play a significant role in India's efforts to meet its energy needs and develop its nuclear technology.