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Historical Background

With the independence and launching of Atomic Energy program in India, Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha mooted the great idea of indigenous production of heavy water way back in year 1945 for making the country not only self-reliant but also aspire to export it to outside world. In April 1954, the Atomic Energy Commission took a decision to investigate the feasibility of producing heavy water in India. The research in heavy water production was initiated by the Chemical Engineering division of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in the 60s and was continued by the Heavy Water Division of the Centre where a Pilot Plant was operated for studying the H2S-H20 exchange process. While these studies were in progress, a Heavy Water Plant at Nangal in Punjab was set up and commissioned in August, 1962.

To meet the of heavy water requirement for Nuclear power Programme, there was a need for a separate organisation to oversee the planning and setting up of Heavy Water Plants. Accordingly an organisation known as the Heavy Water Projects was set up on May 1, 1969. The unit was headed by Shri S. Fareeduddin, eminent chemical engineer and Padmashree of 1967 for his outstanding contribution in the front end of nuclear fuel cycle. This was later renamed as Heavy Water Board with effect from February 17, 1989. Almost the entire group headed by Shri P.G. Deshpande of Heavy Water section BARC and Shri K.S. Bimbhat of HWB Nangal was transferred to Heavy Water Project in early 1969 where formed the core groups for H2S-H2O and NH3-H2 process respectively.

Heavy Water Plants based on Ammonia-Hydrogen exchange process were set up at Baroda, Tuticorin, Thal and Hazira.

First plant based on Hydrogen Sulphide-water exchange process developed indigenously was set up at Rawatbhata near Kota, Rajasthan and second plant was set-up at Manuguru, Khammam district of Telangana.

At present there are seven heavy water plants in India.

Men at the Helm
No. Name & Designation Period


Shri S. Fareeduddin
OSD & Project Director

May, 1969 - June, 1980


Shri N. Srinivasan
Project Director, Chief Executive & Chairman

July, 1980 - April, 1987


Shri S.M. Sundaram
Chief Executive & Chairman

May, 1987 - March, 1992


Shri S. Sharma
Chief Executive & Chairman

April, 1992 - Sept, 1995


Shri R.K. Bhargava
Chief Executive & Chairman

Oct, 1995 - Nov, 1996


Shri N.N. Khurana

Dec, 1996 - Feb, 1997


Shri S.P. Mukherjee
Chief Executive

Dec, 1996 - Feb, 1997


Shri S.P. Mukherjee
Chairman & Chief Executive

March, 1997 - Sept, 1998


Shri H. S. Kamath
Chairman & Chief Executive

Sept, 1998 - June, 2002


Shri S.C. Hiremath
Chairman & Chief Executive

July, 2002 - January 2007


Shri A.L.N Rao
Chairman & Chief Executive

February, 2007 - March, 2011


Shri Rajnish Prakash
Chairman & Chief Executive

April, 2011 - July, 2015


Shri P.R.Mohanty

August, 2015 - Sept, 2015


Shri M Bhaskaran
Chief Executive

August, 2015 - Nov, 2016


Shri M Bhaskaran
Chairman & Chief Executive

Nov, 2015 - Nov, 2016


Shri A. N. Verma
Chairman & Chief Executive

Dec, 2016 - Aug, 2017


Dr. U. Kamachi Mudali
Chairman & Chief Executive

Sept, 2017- Sept, 2020


Shri S.K. Nayak
Chief Executive

October 2020 - July 2021

Shri V.P Nema
Technical Advisor to Secretary, DAE & Chairman, HWB.

August, 2021 - Nov. 2021

Shri Jitendra Srivastava
Chief Executive

August, 2021 - July 2023


Shri S. Satyakumar
Chairman & Chief Executive

August, 2023 -  Continuing

Last updated on: 24-Aug-2023