DU seeks to use weak radiation sources after Mayapuri incident

Delhi University has appealed to the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board to allow it to use weak radiation sources for academic purposes.

Mumbai: Delhi University has appealed to the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board to allow it to use weak radiation sources for academic purposes just two months after the board disallowed the varsity to use any radioactive source for its failure to reply on radiation exposure at Mayapuri scrapyard within stipulated period.
"The university has submitted the final report very recently and has now approached us asking for some weak radiation sources to carry on the academic work, but we have said we will consider it in due course of time after doing all required regulatory inspection in the university department," Chairman, AERB S S Bajaj said today.

"The university does not want the academics to suffer, but the regulatory body has to approve whether they have all the safety and regulatory norms in place," Bajaj said.

The final report on radiation exposure at Delhi`s Mayapuri scrapyard submitted by the university did not have any new information, Bajaj said.

In September this year, AERB rejected university`s plea to allow it to continue to use any radioactive source in its labs when DU sought more time to submit the final report.

The use of radioactive sources was suspended by AERB in Delhi University after an exposure to radioactive material Cobalt-60 in the scrap market of Mayapuri in West Delhi, which led to the death of one person and injuries to ten others, in April this year was traced to Gamma Irradiator, which the university had auctioned to a scrap dealer.

Following the incident, AERB had suspended the use of radioactive source in the university labs and asked it to submit a reply to the board on the incident.

"The Delhi University had appealed to us to remove the suspension order and allow them to use the radioactive sources for their research experiments. Although currently they have only small neutron sources and do not have any major radioactive source, the AERB Standing Committee has decided not to heed to their demand at present," Bajaj had said.

Asked whether any of the University staff will be punished under the Atomic Energy Act, Bajaj said, "At the moment the Board has not decided to punish any individual but we learnt that there have been some changes made in the departmental leadership."


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