Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lifetime Achievement Award of the Department of Atomic Energy to N. Srinivasan

RADHE KRISHNA 27-10-2011

Lifetime Achievement Award of the Department of Atomic Energy to N. Srinivasan, former Director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research

National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon (second from left) presents the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Department of Atomic Energy to N. Srinivasan, former Director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, at a function in Chennai on Friday. At left is Srikumar Banerjee, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. Photo: R. Ragu

The tabling of a bill to establish an independent nuclear regulatory authority in the monsoon session of Parliament will help in significant expansion of the country's atomic power programme, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon said here on Friday.

The bill would create the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of India as an independent and autonomous organisation, he said presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award, instituted by the Department of Atomic Energy, to nuclear scientist N. Srinivasan.

Mr. Menon noted that the pioneering contributions of scientists such as Mr. Srinivasan took the country's nuclear power programme to a stage where “we can hope to achieve bigger and better.” He said the world was now ready to work with India on equal terms.

He hailed the nation's nuclear power programme for its “outstanding safety record in 335 reactor years of operations,” and pointed out that atomic energy remained a safe, secure and economical source of clean energy.

The function was held at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) as Professor Srinivasan could not attend the ceremony held at the residence of the Prime Minister a couple of months ago to honour the four scientists chosen by the Department of Atomic Energy for the award. Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Srikumar Banerjee said Professor Srinivasan's work touched all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle — from indigenous reprocessing of fuel to the fast breeder reactor programme that he shaped at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) as its Director. He also scripted the country's progress from a position of scarcity of heavy water to self-sufficiency, and then to surplus.

IGCAR Director S.C. Chetal described Professor Srinivasan as a mentor and founding father of the centre, who pursued a unique style of project management. His envisioned the IGCAR as a comprehensive and all-encompassing institution.

The former Chief Executive of the Heavy Water Board, Surendra Sharma, said Professor Srinivasan was a manager par excellence and motivator, who evolved an innovative mode of project management.

P.K. Dey, a scientist of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, said Professor Srinivasan showed exemplary dedication to and interest in developing the nuclear fuel cycle programme.

In his acceptance speech, Professor Srinivasan said he was lucky in his career to have opportunities to do some good work and to engage with excellent teams that made life easy and interesting.

Keywords: NRAI, Nuclear Regulatory Authority of India, nuclear policy

N Srinivasan - A man of simplicity

N Srinivasan - A man of simplicity

CHENNAI:� Eminent scientist N Srinivasan’s name commands respect in the nuclear energy circle of India. As the first project director of Indira Gandhi Center for Atomic Research (IGCAR), he helped develop a method of reprocessing used nuclear fuel. He has also helped India become self-sufficient in producing heavy water, which is vital for nuclear power plants.
In an event held to honour Srinivasan with the Department of Atomic Energy’s lifetime achievement award, Director of Indian Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IIMSc) Prof R Balasubramanian said, “It is an honour for us that he is here.” As Srinivasan was unable to collect the award from the Prime Minister, a special function was held for him.
Srinivasan’s colleagues were present, and reminisced about working with him. One of them, who worked with him on the nuclear fuel project said, “He will not hesitate to work with his own hands. A hard worker, there have been times when he has worked up till 3 am and then returned to office by 7 am.” SC Chetal, Director of IGCAR, spoke about the challenges he is facing in continuing the work that Srinivasan had so successfully started. “He has a unique style of project management. He envisioned almost all the current projects we are working on at IGCAR. He will always be a source of inspiration to us,” he said.
Former Chairman of the Heavy Water Board, Surendar Sharma, calls him a “manager par excellence”. Srinivasan was the Chief Executive of the Board, and made the production of heavy water a routine in India. The country is now an exporter of heavy water. It is used as a moderator in nuclear plants, to slow down nuclear reactions.
Describing Srinivasan as a very simple, very unassuming and humane person, Sharma adds, “He has a vast intellect, quick grasp of concepts and excellent decision making skills. Srinivasan’s project execution was always superb.”
Asked for comments, Srinivasan says, “When I joined the Atomic Energy Commission 60 years ago, little did I think that I would be so lucky in my career. Not only in the projects I worked on, but also the teams I had were excellent in every branch. They made life and work interesting and easy. I was young, the field was new and I did not know what I was getting into. The culture when I joined was to give newcomers the opportunity to give their best.”
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