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India fast-tracking amendment to AERB legislation

Last Updated: Friday, April 15, 2011 - 19:08

Astana (Kazakhstan): In the backdrop of the
Japan radiation scare, India is fast-tracking amendment to the
Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) legislation for
introduction in the coming session of Parliament amid a high-
level committee`s recommendations that additional protective
measures needed to be taken at nuclear facilities.
The government had ordered a thorough review of the
nuclear installations in India after the Fukushima incident of
last month and four task forces were set up to recommend steps
to ensure that natural disasters like earthquake and tsunami
do not affect them.

The AERB amendment bill will be introduced in the Monsoon
Session of Parliament, sources said.

It will then be referred to the Parliamentary Standing
Committee of the relevant department for scrutiny and
suggestions, they said.

The government decision comes after one of the task
forces set up for review suggested in its report that
additional measures needed to be taken with regard to safety
of the nuclear installations, the sources said.

As a follow-up, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India
Limited (NPCIL) and Department of Atomic Energy would be
looking into the suggestions.

The review will cover aspects like design of nuclear
plants, operational maintenance and selection of sites for the
new plants, the sources said.
The specific measures to be worked out will be the
remedial measures in case coolants are lost in any natural
calamity. The nuclear plant in Fukushima has witnessed this
problem after tsunami hit its reactors and authorities have
since been trying to replenish it as they are unable to shut
down the facility.

The new measures will cover not only the nuclear plants,
but also other facilities like research labs, considering the
incident of Mongolpuri in Delhi two years back when radiation
from Cobalt-60 emitted from a piece of scrap. The effect of
that radiation, however, was localised.

"Few things need to be done and faster," the sources

"Whatever needs to be done, government will do," they
said but feel that there was no requirement of any survey or
help by any international agency.

India is also of the view that in light of the Fukushima
experience, there should be at international level some
nuclear disaster response mechanisms, which many countries are
having domestically.


First Published: Friday, April 15, 2011 - 19:08

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