Ratan Kumar Sinha: Former Director of the BARC

Ratan Kumar Sinha: Former Director of the BARC

This Indian scientist has shaped the landscape of nuclear energy in India and beyond as the Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. Meet Dr. Ratan Kumar Sinha, nuclear scientist and mechanical engineer, who had been instrumental in kick starting several public outreach campaigns to present the human perspective of India’s nuclear capabilities.

Ratan Kumar Sinha started his journey in Mechanical Engineering at Patna University in 1972, where he topped the university. In 1973, he joined the Reactor Engineering Division of BARC after completing a year-long training course at BARC Training School. 

Over the years, he served in various roles at BARC until he became the Director from May 2010 to April 2012. Later, he served as Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy and Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India until his retirement in October 2015. 

After retiring, he became a DAE Homi Bhabha Chair Professor and Chairman of the Thorium Implementation Platform, overseeing India’s Thorium programs. 

He represented India in important forums of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and chaired the Steering Committee of IAEA’s International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles from 2005 to 2008.

Ratan Kumar Sinha has played a pivotal role in advancing Indian reactor technology, focusing on utilizing thorium as fuel. He has led the development of the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) at BARC, Mumbai, which primarily uses thorium and boasts innovative passive safety systems. 

Under his guidance, AHWR’s design innovations have been extensively tested in large experimental facilities. He has also contributed to the design and development of Indian High Temperature Reactors, particularly the Compact High Temperature Reactor (CHTR), aimed at demonstrating technologies for transportable nuclear power packs. 

Dr. Sinha has also played a crucial role in enhancing the public outreach efforts of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to raise awareness about nuclear energy among the masses.

Did you know that Ratan Kumar Sinha has coined the phrase राष्ट्र की सेवा में परमाणु (Atoms in Service of the Nation) which has been imbibed as the motto of the Department of Atomic Energy? 

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