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Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill, a Lip Service?

Written By krishna on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 | 9:26 AM

Note: This is "A BILL to establish an Authority and such other regulatory bodies for regulation of radiation safety or nuclear safety and achieving highest standards of such safety based on scientific approach, operating experience and best practices followed by nuclear industry and to ensure that the use of radiation and atomic energy in all its applications is safe for the health of the radiation workers, members of the public and the environment and also to establisih a Council of Nuclear Safety to oversee and review the policies relating to radiation safety and nuclear safety and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. WHEREAS India has excellent record in nuclear safety and radiation safety; AND WHEREAS the Central Government intends to promote nuclear energy to meet shortfall in total energy requirement of the country; AND WHEREAS such excellent safety record in nuclear safety and radiation safety is required to be sustained for growth in the nuclear energy sector; NOW, THEREFORE, it has been considered necessary and expedient to establish
regulators to ensure continued excellence in nuclear safety and radiation safety in all
applications of radiation and atomic energy on a large scale."

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) The government Wednesday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to provide a legal framework to regulate nuclear and radiation safety, and to establish an authority to carry out the task.

The bill comes in the backdrop of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assurance in the Lok Sabha during the budget session earlier this year that India's nuclear safety regulatory framework would be strengthened in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear plant accident in Japan.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy introduced the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill, 2011, Errata which seeks to create the Council for Nuclear Safety (CNS) headed by the prime minister to oversee and review policies relating to radiation safety.

The bill also provides for setting up a Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA) to regulate radiation and nuclear safety and achieve the highest standards on the basis of scientific approach, operating experience and best practices followed by the nuclear industry, the statement of objects and reasons of the bill said.

The authority would also ensure the use of radiation and atomic energy in all its applications is safe for the health of the radiation workers, the people and the environment, it said.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, the largest in Japan and also in the world since the Chernobyl accident in 1986, had been caused by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11 in the Pacific Ocean off Japan which led to a series of equipment failures, nuclear melt down and release of radioactive materials.

The Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill also provides for establishment of regulatory bodies for the purpose of national defence and security, apart from seeking to empower the CNS to form an appellate authority to enable the centre or any other person aggrieved by an order of the NSRA to file an appeal.

The government had set up the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, to carry out certain regulatory and safety functions. But the Fukushima disaster forced a rethink on the need to further strengthen regulatory mechanisms for nuclear and radiation safety in the country.

IANS
http://in.news.yahoo.com/n-safety-bill-tabled-lok-sabha-150336458.html
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