August 4 important events: Asia’s first nuclear reactor started in India | PM Nehru named it ‘Apsara’ | which made India equipped with nuclear power.

August 4 important events: Asia's first nuclear reactor started in India | PM Nehru named it 'Apsara' | which made India equipped with nuclear power.

4 August. This date has a special connection with India’s first nuclear reactor. Let’s start the story from 1945. 6th August date. It was eight o’clock in the morning in Japan. There was a loud bang and within a few minutes a laughing city had turned into a heap of ashes. We are talking about the nuclear attack on Japan during the Second World War. Exactly 3 days after this, i.e. on 9 August, the second bomb fell on Nagasaki. And the world changed forever. For the first time in the history of human warfare, such a power was used, which was previously only mentioned in mythical stories.

August 4 important events: The story of ‘Blue Apsara’, which made India equipped with nuclear power.

The Atomic Energy Establishment Trombay (AEET) was founded by Homi Jehangir Bhabha in January 1954. Dr. Bhabha wanted to promote research in the field of atomic energy in India. Engineers and scientists from all over the country working on the designing and development of atomic reactors were called to work in this center.

On 15 March 1955, it was decided to build India’s first nuclear research reactor. Dr Bhabha was the head of this entire program. It was decided that this reactor would be like a swimming pool and would have a capacity of 1 MW thermal (MWt).

The work of building the research reactor started in the premises of Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC). A major problem was the nuclear fuel for the reactor. It was discussed with Britain. There was a deal between Britain and India in which it was decided that Britain would supply the uranium needed for the reactor.

The world had understood that this is the only Brahmastra in this new Mahabharata. He who has nuclear weapons is the only one who is powerful.

Asia’s first nuclear reactor started in India, PM Nehru named it ‘Apsara’ after seeing blue rays coming out of the reactor.

There were still two years left for India to become independent. But the withdrawal of the British was fixed. And now India itself had to decide the way forward. In such a situation, the entry of Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha was made. He had come from Cambridge to study. And his passion for nuclear physics was to an obsessive level. In March 1944, Dr Bhabha submitted a proposal to the Sir Dorab Tata Trust . It was a proposal to set up a Nuclear Research Institute. The proposal was approved and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research was established in December 1945 . And from here the research work on nuclear energy started in India.

India became independent in 1947. The new government passed the Atomic Energy Act on 15 April 1948. Under which the Indian Atomic Energy Commission  (IAEC) was formed. Its purpose was to make India stand on its feet in the field of nuclear energy.

Our objective behind developing atomic energy is only peace. But if we are forced as a country, we will have to use it in other ways as well. No matter how pure our feelings may be on this issue, none of us can deny its proper use.

On the occasion of formation of IAEC, Prime Minister Nehru said,

After the Second World War, when the world was divided into two factions, India adopted the policy of non-alignment. And on every global forum, he talked about stopping nuclear weapons. But it was clear that as long as other countries remain in the race for nuclear arms, India cannot back away from it.

India’s Los Alamos.

Taking a big step in this direction, on January 3, 1954, IAEC formed a new undertaking. Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay. AEET. Which was called ‘ Los Alamos ‘ of India . Los Alamos, in the US state of New Mexico, is the place where America invented the atomic bomb under the Manhattan Project. A few months later, DAE i.e.  Department of Atomic Energy was formed. Prime Minister Nehru appointed Dr Bhabha as the Secretary of DAE. You can understand the importance of nuclear energy in the country from the fact that this department used to answer directly to the Prime Minister and it happens even today.

On March 15, 1955, at a meeting of the Energy Commission, it was decided to build a small nuclear reactor at Trombay. But for such a reactor, enriched uranium was needed. And research in India had not yet reached such a stage that they could enrich uranium. In such a situation, Dr. Bhabha remembered a friend of Cambridge. It was John Cockroft who used to be a scientist in Cambridge. With their help, an agreement was signed in October 1955 between the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and DAE. Under which the UK started supplying Enriched Uranium to India.

Apart from the supply of fuel, the rest of the work of this reactor was done in India itself. For example, the assembly of electronic parts and the manufacture of different parts of the reactor. As such, the eyes of America and Europe were on all the activities related to nuclear energy. But no one expected that a country that had just become independent would be able to make some progress in the field of nuclear energy. Even Dr. Bhabha’s friend John Cockroft helped in getting uranium. But when Dr. Bhabha said that we would make a reactor within a year, Cockroft made a condition to him that it is not possible to do so in a year.

Apart from the supply of fuel, the rest of the work of this reactor was done in India itself. For example, the assembly of electronic parts and the manufacture of different parts of the reactor. As such, the eyes of America and Europe were on all the activities related to nuclear energy. But no one expected that a country that had just become independent would be able to make some progress in the field of nuclear energy. Even Dr. Bhabha’s friend John Cockroft helped in getting uranium. But when Dr. Bhabha said that we would make a reactor within a year, Cockroft made a condition to him that it is not possible to do so in a year.

Government’s rules and regulations are creating a lot of hurdles in this work. While this is a very pressure job. And it needs to be done at a fast pace too. In such a situation, even a small mistake can push us back many years. ‘

When the letter was received, Prime Minister Nehru arranged for two cars. So that scientists can travel easily. Apart from this, arrangements for food were made from private hotels. So that lunch and dinner can be delivered inside the reactor building itself.

Due to the hard work of Indian scientists, the reactor was ready in a year. According to the plan, the reactor should have reached critical status on July 31, 1956. But this could not happen due to the fault of the control rod.

What is meant by reaching critical condition?

For this we have to understand the reaction inside the nuclear reactor.

In fact, when the inside of the reactor collide with neutrons uranium atom  with the energy it – with a lot of neutrons also out,  which hit the rest of the uranium atoms . And so a chain reaction is formed . But the speed of the neutrons released during the reaction is very fast . that need to be controlled . For this, heavy water or any other such moderator is used . When the speed of the neutron is controlled enough that the reaction stops and energy is produced in a controlled manner  , it is called the critical state .

Four days later, on this day i.e. on August 4, 1956, at 3.45 PM, the Trombay reactor reached critical condition. It was the first nuclear reactor in Asia to reach this position. When Nehru saw this reactor, he named it ‘Apsara’. There is a very interesting story behind this name too. For which we have to go inside the reactor again.

As already told you. Neutrons are released at a very high speed during a nuclear reaction. During this, their speed inside the water becomes faster than the light. Now you will say what about special relativity. The speed of light is the fastest. So understand that if the refractive index of the medium is less than one, then the speed of light is less than vacuum, due to which this is possible. In this way a blue colored light is produced which is called ‘Chernkov radiation’.

August 4 important events: Asia's first nuclear reactor started in India | PM Nehru named it 'Apsara' | which made India equipped with nuclear power.
August 4 important events: Asia’s first nuclear reactor started in India | PM Nehru named it ‘Apsara’ | which made India equipped with nuclear power.

Seeing this blue light, Nehru named this nuclear reactor Apsara. Apsara also means water girl. And since it was a pool reactor. That’s why he said that it is of beautiful blue color, and is also associated with water. So Apsara would be the most appropriate name for this.

Death Of Doctor Bhabha.

‘Apsara’ was India’s first major achievement in the field of nuclear energy. Due to which India went ahead and became a nuclear weapon state. The biggest hand in this achievement was that of Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha. He died in a plane crash in 1966.

The story of this plane accident is also not full of curiosity.

In an interview to All India Radio in October 1965, Dr. Bhabha had said that if he was given a green signal, India could make an atomic bomb in 18 months. Exactly 3 months later, on January 24, 1966, his flight from Bombay to New York crashed. All 117 passengers were killed in this. In 2008, a news website named TBRNews.org published a news about this plane accident. It was claimed that this plane crash was not just an accident. According to the report, a CIA officer, Robert Crowley, told journalist Gregory Douglas about this.

‘You know, in the 60’s when India started working on the atomic bomb. We were in trouble. Because he was with the Russians.

Crowley said to Gregory

‘Trust me, it was very dangerous. Bhabha was going to Vienna in the nuclear case. And it could have created bigger problems. Then a bomb exploded in the cargo of his plane and he died in a plane crash.

Speaking further, he said about the plane accident,

There was no conspiracy in the death of Dr. Bhabha, or that the CIA was behind it, it could not be confirmed. According to the then French investigation, it was an accident and there was no such incident as a bomb explosion. Well whatever happened. Before leaving the world, Dr. Bhabha had made a big contribution in making India a nuclear power. At the same time, talking about Apsara, the work of nuclear research went on for more than 50 years. It was decommissioned in the year 2009. After this it was restarted in 2018 and at present it is working at double capacity.

1944: Anne Frank’s secret hideout was discovered by German troops.

4 August 1944. German soldiers got the news that some Jews were hiding in house number 263 of Prensingracht in Amsterdam. Soldiers raided this house and drove 8 Jews out of the house. All these Jews were hiding in this house for the last two years. Anne Frank was one of the 8 Jews captured, the girl whose diary is considered a written document of German atrocities.

Anne Frank was born on 12 June 1929 in a Jewish family. Due to the growing hatred of Jews in Germany, Anne Frank had to come to the Netherlands with her family, but during the Second World War, Germany also occupied the Netherlands. Now troubles began to increase for Frank’s family. The family made a secret place their hideout to escape from the German soldiers. It was here that Anne Frank started writing her thoughts in a diary she received on her birthday. Annie recorded everything that happened in this secret place in her diary.

On August 1, Annie wrote something in her diary for the last time. On 4 August, 7 people along with Annie were arrested by German soldiers and sent to the concentration camp. Anne Frank died of illness in this concentration camp.

Annie’s Diary was first published in Dutch in 1947. By February 1948, more than 20 thousand copies of this book were sold. In 1952 this book was translated into English. Today, Annie’s Diary has been translated into more than 70 languages, with millions of copies sold.

1922: All telephones in the US and Canada were silent for a minute.

10 March 1876. Alexander Graham Bell called his assistant and said – “Mr. Watson! Come here.”

These words of Bell were recorded in history. These were the world’s first words spoken on a telephone call. This gave birth to a new communication revolution in the world.

After this invention of Bell, the telephone became quite famous. Bell also formed his own company called Bell Corporation, which dealt with the manufacture of telephones. However, two years after forming the company, Bell resigned from the company’s board of directors and engaged in research and social service.

By August 1922, 140 million phones had been sold across America. Graham Bell died on 2 August 1922. He was buried on this day in 1922. All phones were turned off for a minute across the US and Canada to pay tribute to Bell.

4th August is also remembered because of these important national-international events.

  • 2018: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is attacked by a drone during a live TV event. However, Maduro escaped the attack.
  • 2007: The US launched the space probe Phoenix. The same mission detected water and ice beneath the surface of Mars.
  • 2000: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 100th birthday. She is the first member of the royal family to cross the age of hundred.
  • 1961: Barack Obama, America’s first black president, was born.
  • 1914: After Germany joined the First World War, Britain also announced its entry into the war.