Thapar University scientist to work on Dept of Atomic Energy nuclear fusion programme

Punjab News Express October 14, 2015

PATIALA : The Department of Atomic Energy has handpicked a Thapar University scientist to work on a prestigious nuclear fusion programme in collaboration with experts from the department’s Institute of Plasma Research.

Dr Rana Pratap Yadav of the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Thapar University, Patiala, has been awarded a research grant of Rs 34.35 lakh to improvise on a device that uses electromagnetic fields to produce fusion energy for generating electricity.

The magnetic fusion device, tokamak, has been a focus for extensive research the world over, and will emerge as the energy option of the future by 2050. Tokamak aims to determine the economic and technological viability of using fusion energy to greater effect to produce electricity.

Elaborating on his research project, Dr Yadav said, “Replicating the fusion reaction which powers the sun, where two light atomic nuclei of deuterium and tritium are fused to form a heavier atom of helium, requires a phenomenally high temperature of 110 million degrees Celsius. This fusion reaction can be experimentally achieved in a tokamak, which attains this temperature through various methods of heating and uses magnetic fields to contain the hot deuterium-tritium plasma. I am specifically working on the Ion Cyclotron Resonance Frequency (ICRF) heating method, which holds a lot of promise.”

Dr Yadav will develop a high-powered mock-up ICRF system to demonstrate the technique.

Congratulating Dr Yadav for bagging such an important research project, Thapar University Director Prof Prakash Gopalan said, “Known for its cutting-edge research capabilities, Thapar University has won many prestigious research projects over the years. Our focus on quality research is reflected in our state-of-the-art laboratory infrastructure and the scientific acumen of our faculty members. We are going from strength to strength with 80 laboratories for research, which includes separate labs for faculty members.”