Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is U-PuO2 fuelled sodium cooled Pool type Fast Reactor and it is currently under advanced stage of construction at Kalpakkam, India. The Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) which is the only fast reactor currently operational in India is having only one shutdown system. However the IAEA and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) Guide Lines call for two independent fast acting diverse shutdown systems for the present generation reactors. Hence PFBR is equipped with two independent, fast acting and diverse shutdown systems. A shutdown system comprises of sensors, logic circuits, drive mechanisms and neutron absorbing rods. The two shutdown systems of PFBR are capable of bringing down the reactor to cold shutdown state independent of the other. The absorber rods of the second shutdown system of PFBR are called as Diverse Safety rods (DSR) and their drive mechanisms are called as Diverse Safety Rod Drive Mechanisms (DSRDM). DSR are normally parked above active core by DSRDM. On receiving scram signal, Electromagnet of DSRDM is de-energised and it facilitates fast shutdown of the reactor by dropping the DSR in to the active core. This paper presents chronological design and development of the prototype DSR and DSRDM starting from the design specifications. Salient design specifications for both DSRDM and DSR are listed initially. The conceptual & detailed design features are explained with the help of figures. Various important design options considered in the initial design stage, choice of final design along with brief explanation for the particular choice are also given for some of the important components. Details on material of construction are given at appropriate places. Details on various analysis such as large displacement analysis for buckling, bending analysis for determining reactive forces and friction in the mechanism, thermal stress analysis of electromagnet during scram, flow induced vibration analysis of DSRDM and DSR and hydraulic analysis for estimating the pressure drop and drop time of DSR are also given. Test plans for design verification, manufacturing and shop testing experience of prototype systems, and criteria for endurance testing in sodium for qualification of DSRDM and DSR for operation in reactor are also briefed.

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