Top N-scientist Sekhar Basu dies of Covid | India News

Top N-scientist Sekhar Basu dies of Covid | India News

Eminent nuclear scientist Sekhar Basu died of Covid-19 in a Kolkata hospital early Thursday, bringing the curtain down on a career that saw him championing major research and development programmes as a former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy.
Basu, who turned 68 just three days ago, had been hospitalised on September 15 with low oxygen saturation and kidney complications.
PM Narendra Modi led the flood of tributes to the scientist. “I join the atomic energy fraternity in grieving the passing away of Dr Sekhar Basu, a renowned nuclear scientist who played a key role in establishing India as a lead country in nuclear science and engineering,” he tweeted.
Conferred the Padma Shri in 2014 for his sterling contributions to India’s atomic energy programme, Basu had spearheaded the development of the highly complex reactor for the country’s first nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant. He continued to guide the nuclear propulsion programme for seagoing versions.
Basu had also been involved in the design, development, construction and operation of nuclear recycle plants at Tarapur and Kalpakkam, involving reprocessing and nuclear waste management.
Speaking to TOI, former AEC chairman and veteran nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar said, “Losing him at such an early age is very tragic. He was much younger than all of us (former chairmen). He was a doer, demonstrating his ability to handle difficult and large projects successfully. He did excellent work in the nuclear submarine reactor and nuclear recycle programmes. In fact, the country is performing well in these areas due to his rich contributions.”
Born on September 20, 1952, Basu did his schooling at Kolkata’s Ballygunge Government School and graduated in mechanical engineering from Mumbai’s Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute in 1974. After completing a year’s training in nuclear science and engineering at BARC, he joined its reactor engineering division in 1975.
“He was an extremely competent technologist, with an ability to integrate multi-disciplinary activities and develop multiple state of the art technology systems. One of the last projects in which he had taken keen interest was to develop cyclotron technology for medical isotope production,” said a statement issued by the DAE.
Post-retirement, Basu would shuttle between Mumbai and Kolkata to fulfil mentorship roles in various projects. He is survived by his wife, mother and New Zealand-based son.

This article is sourced from timesofindia

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