Chandrashekhar Gaurinath Karhadkar takes over as Director – IGCAR


Shri Chandrashekhar Gaurinath Karhadkar takes over as Director, IGCAR

Shri C G Karhadkar, Distinguished Scientist and Director, Reactor Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai is taking over as the Director, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, from Dr. B.Venkaraman who is superannuating on 31st May 2024.  Shri C G Karhadkar completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in the year 1987.  He graduated from the 31st batch of BARC Training School, Mumbai.  In 1988, he joined the Reactor Operations Division of Reactor Group of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre at Trombay, Mumbai and served in various capacities during the past 36 years of his service in BARC.

As Director, Reactor Group, he was responsible for the overall Research Reactor Programme of BARC including safe and efficient operation, utilization, decommissioning and planning for new research reactors, at BARC. He has worked extensively for improving fuel performance of Dhruva reactor. This included changing the material specifications, interacting with the national vendors to develop the relevant material, studying and improving the manufacturing process and ultimately was largely responsible for full power operation of Dhruva on sustained basis.He has also guided and implemented several safety enhancements and upgradation of research reactors to meet the present day safety standards and also to combat obsolescence,without compromising the availability and capacity factors for the reactor. In 2018, long shut down for Dhruva had to be planned for making certain necessary repairs. These repairs were carried out in an innovative way without core unloading, to save a yearlong reactor outage. Further due to his meticulous planning and leadership the job was finished10 days ahead of the announced 75 days schedule to resume the isotope supply at the earliest. Cirus reactor was shut down in December 2010 as part of the 123 agreement. After the shutdown of Cirus, he worked extensively and made lot of engineering changes in Dhruva for enhancing the isotopes supply to meet the requirement of the medical fraternity. He has initiated programs for enhancing utilization of the Research Reactor for industrial applications like Neutron Radiography, Neutron Activation Analysis,Accelerated life testing of detectors,material irradiation studies etc.

Under his leadership, decommissioning plan for a large reactor like Cirus has been prepared for the first time in the country, keeping balance of the radiation risk and the financial outlay.  He is also instrumental in instituting a process for data mining from Cirus for creating a database for irradiation properties of materials.  This will be very useful for designing new reactors and life enhancement of other operating reactors.The old Apsara reactor was shut down in 2009 as part of the international commitment.Commissioning and First Approach to Criticality of Apsara-U, the 2 MW reactor, was also successfully undertaken under his guidance and leadership. The old Apsara reactor is likely to be converted into a museum. He has worked extensively for getting this facility de-regulated and detailing its layout and various galleries to highlight the achievements and history of DAE. This DAE exhibition centre will serve as an important place for  outreach.

During COVID-19, he ensured that the Dhruva reactor was operated with the help of the officers in round-the-clock shift to replace the operators who could not commute to the office due to travel restrictions, this has helped in maintaining the isotope supply to needy patients.

Shri Karhadkar has chaired several Administrative, Financial, Technical and Regulatory committees. He has been instrumental in reforming the procurement procedures, this has simplified procurement process for speedy execution of projects in BARC.  He is also a member of various strategic committees in BARC.