The Director of India's Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research has announced that construction of a new fast reactor fuel reprocessing plant is to begin in two months' time at Kalpakkam in southern India. The plant is to reprocess spent fuel from the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) that has been under construction at Kalpakkam since 2004.
The reprocessing plant's cost is estimated at 96 billion Rupees (about 1.45 billion U.S. dollars at current exchange rates). It is said to have a capacity adequate to deal with "the spent fuel of PFBR and also other two fast reactors expected to come up at Kalpakkam". Based on a neutronic model of the PFBR, this would mean that it should be able to reprocess roughly 27 tons of spent fuel (both core and blanket). However, the plant has only been approved to reprocess spent fuel from the PFBR only (i.e, only one reactor) by the local Pollution Control Board.
The Fast Reactor Fuel Cycle Facility (FRFCF) has been significantly delayed and is currently planned to be commissioned towards the end of 2019. Plans for the facility have been under review by India's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board from as early as 2004. In September 2007, the Chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission announced that a reprocessing plant to deal with the PFBR spent fuel had been planned and that its construction was to commence in 2008. The plant only received approval by the national cabinet in 2013 and, again, the Chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission announced that construction was to begin the same year.
Construction of the PFBR has also been significantly delayed from its initial expected start date of September 2010. As of early this year, the reactor was to become critical in September 2015. But last month, the Chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission announced that the reactor was yet to receive the necessary clearances from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.