Anil-Kakodkar

Anil Kakodkar (born 11 November 1943) is an Indian nuclear scientist and mechanical engineer. He was the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India and the Secretary to the Government of India, he was the Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay from 1996–2000. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, on 26 January 2009.

Apart from playing a major role in India’s nuclear tests asserting sovereignty, Kakodkar champions India’s self-reliance on thorium as a fuel for nuclear energy.

Kakodkar obtained his BE (Mech. Engineering) degree from the Bombay University in 1963 and M.Sc. in the Experimental Stress Analysis from the Nottingham University in 1969.

Kakodkar has worked for the development of the atomic energy programme in India throughout his professional life. Focus of his work has been on self-reliant development of nuclear reactor systems to address the Indian programme requirements. Undeterred by the restrictions imposed by the international community, he succeeded in developing various systems for the pressurized heavy water reactor, in building the Dhruva reactor starting from the conceptual stage, in rehabilitation of Madras Atomic Power Station Units 1&2 both of which at one stage appeared to be on the verge of being written off following failure of the moderator inlet manifolds, in conceptualization and development of Advanced Heavy Water Reactor that realizes the next generation objectives through innovative configuration of present day technologies besides use of thorium. Utilisation of our vast Thorium resources for energy production has received special attention under Kakodkar’s leadership. He has created a roadmap for shaping the third stage of India’s nuclear power programme aimed at tapping vast energy potential of our thorium resources not only as source for electricity production but also as a primary source for other forms of energy use. A number of new technology areas such as accelerator driven systems, high temperature reactors, materials and recycle technology etc. have been nucleated for this purpose. Kakodkar continues to be actively involved in programmes related to augmentation of Thorium utilisation in our nuclear power programme.

Anil Kakodkar also has the credit of being a member of the core team of architects of India’s Peaceful Nuclear Tests that were conducted during the years 1974 and 1998. He also led the indigenous development of the country’s Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor Technology. Anil Kakodkar’s efforts in the rehabilitation of the two reactors at Kalpakkam and the first unit at Rawatbhatta is noteworthy as it were about to close down.

In the year 1996, Anil Kakodkar became the youngest Director of the BARC after Homi Bhabha himself. From the year 2000 onwards, he has been leading the Atomic Energy Commission of India and playing secretary to the Department of Atomic Energy. Dr Anil Kakodkar has been playing a crucial part in demanding sovereignty for India’s nuclear tests. Infact, he is known for being a strong advocate of India’s self-reliance by employing Thorium as a fuel for nuclear energy.