Heavy Water Supply

India is the largest producer and supplier of “heavy water” in the world. Amritt can help you procure this precious and expensive commodity. Buy heavy water or D20 with our advice and guidance

Heavy water contains the hydrogen isotope deuterium instead of regular hydrogen, giving it different nuclear, physical, and chemical properties compared to normal water. Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen that is double the mass due to an extra neutron. It has a small natural abundance of about 140-160 part per million and can be concentrated through distillation, electrolysis, or chemical exchange methods.
Heavy water has a higher density, melting point, and boiling point compared to regular water. It is less dissociated and can taste slightly sweet but is not highly toxic. It affects biological systems by altering enzymes, hydrogen bonds, and cell division. Its chemical formula is often written as D2O instead of H20, even though deuterium is not a separate element.

India has seven plants across the country that produce “virgin” heavy water, mostly for its own use in its approximately20 “Indian Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors” where the water is used a moderator and coolant is by the Nuclear Power Corporation Ltd to produce electricity. The heavy water sold by India is called “virgin” since is not radioactive, that is it is not “tritiated.” Heavy water obtained from nuclear plants that are being decommissioned has been exposed to nuclear radiation and contains significant amount of radioactive tritium which limits its applications outside of nuclear energy use.

While the production and sale of heavy water is not regulated globally, India considers it a sensitive material and requires specific end user certification before considering its international sale. All heavy water plants are owned and operated by the Heavy Water Board, an agency of the Indian federal (“union” or “central” government). Heavy Water Board headquarters are located in “Anushakti Bhavan” (Nuclear House) in a township called Anushakti Nagar. Access to the entire township is restricted and foreign citizens need prior approval to enter, after review of their passport and visas and clearance by “Vigilance” (security) which must be obtained in advance.

Some applications of heavy water include: nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, neutrino detection, metabolic rate testing, neutron capture therapy.In summary, heavy water is an important moderator for nuclear reactors produced on a large scale in India. It has unique nuclear, physical, and chemical properties with applications including NMR spectroscopy, metabolic research, and neutron modulation as well as being an isotope source. The Heavy Water Board website says it is working to promote the non-nuclear uses of deuterium and heavy water across industries.

Canada and Argentine no longer produce new heavy water in significant quantities. Other so-called suppliers do not produce heavy water themselves and are often drawing from old inventory

Amritt staff can determine the best and most acceptable approach for foreign entities to import Indian heavy water for legal, ethical applications acceptable to the Indian government. We can guide you through the entire process from inquiry to shipment, testing and more.
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