IGCAR, involved in designing a fast breeder reactor (reactor that breeds more fuel than it consumes), is located at Kalpakkam, around 70 km from here.
According to a statement issued by IGCAR, Rao was earlier director of the chemistry group at IGCAR. He is a specialist in the area of actinide chemistry and in particular in the area of chemistry of nuclear fuel cycle.
Rao has led research and development programmes of IGCAR related to chemistry. Under his guidance, the group at IGCAR is researching chemical aspects of fast reactor fuels, coolants and control rod materials as well as the fuel cycle aspects.
Graduating from Vivekananda College at Chennai in 1972, Rao joined department of atomic energy (DAE). He belongs to the 16th batch of BARC Training School, Mumbai.
Rao obtained his doctoral degree in actinide chemistry in 1979 from the Bombay University.
After working at BARC in the initial years, he was shifted to Kalpakkam in 1978 and was instrumental in setting up the Radiochemistry Laboratory at IGCAR. He has over 200 publications in peer reviewed international journals and has guided 10 students for PhD.
He is also a senior professor at the Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI).