Atomic scientist and former Atomic Energy Commission Chairperson Dr Sekhar Basu died of Covid-19 at a private hospital here on Thursday. He had turned 68 three days ago. A West Bengal Department of Health official said Dr Basu was also suffering from kidney ailments.
Dr Basu was conferred with the Indian Nuclear Society Award in 2002, and the Padma Shri in 2014. He pioneered the highly complex reactor for India’s first nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant. He was the brain behind the design, construction and operation of nuclear recycle plants in Tarapur and Kalpakkam, and also played a key role in the development of the Indian Neutrino Observatory in Tamil Nadu.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were among those who expressed condolences.
Born on September 20, 1952, Dr Basu completed his schooling from Ballygunge Government School in Kolkata, and graduated in mechanical engineering from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), University of Mumbai, in 1974.
After a year of training in nuclear science and engineering at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) School, he joined its Reactor Engineering Division in 1975.
He worked as the project director of BARC’s Nuclear Submarine Programme before taking over as its director in 2012.
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