Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Ratan Kumar Sinha on Monday took charge
as Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Secretary in the Department of Atomic
Energy (DAE) from incumbent Srikumar Banerjee.
Sinha, a native of Bhagalpur district of Anga Desh region of Bihar and a topper in mechanical
engineering from Patna University who headed the reactor design group at BARC for several
years, will guide the Indian nuclear sector in its next phase in which large indigenous as well as
foreign reactors would be installed to rapidly ramp up India’s nuclear power generation
capacity.Dr Ratan Kumar Sinha taking over as Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission from Dr
Srikumar Banerjee in Mumbai on April 30, 2012.
“My priority will be removing irrational fear about radiation from people’s mind as nuclear energy
will have a larger role in our growth,” Sinha told.
“In many of our rules, we do not factor well established scientific facts based on studies
conducted at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We have restrictive and conservative rules. I want to
have a look at all these rules with new scientific findings,” he said.
Sinha, who would be at the helm of affairs in the nuclear sector for the next three and half years
said development of large commercial light water reactor and providing drinking water solution
in villages using nuclear technology would be his other priority areas.
Asked about operationalisation of Kudankulam nuclear power plant, the new AEC chief said that
the first unit might be operational within the next two months as work was progressing at a fast
pace. But it will ultimately depend on the speed of regulatory approval from Atomic Energy
Sinha joined BARC in 1973 and over the years was actively involved in designing new reactors.
He guided research programmes for new advanced reactors for thorium utilisation and the
futuristic Indian high temperature reactor intended for hydrogen generation.
As a part of his research work on reactor design, he led the project to design the compact high
temperature reactor, which serves as a technology demonstrator for future high temperature
While Banerjee is likely to return to Kolkata after 45 years in the nuclear sector, the government
may nominate Anil Kakodkar – Banerjee’s predecessor – in the Rajya Sabha. The official
announcement, however, has not been made.