- The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) was constituted on November 15, 1983 by the President of India by exercising the powers conferred by Section 27 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962
- The regulatory authority of AERB is derived from the rules and notifications promulgated under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 and the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986.
- The headquarters is in Mumbai
- The mission of the Board is to ensure that the use of ionising radiation and nuclear energy in India does not cause undue risk to health and the environment.
- Currently, the Board consists of a full-time Chairman, an ex officio Member, three part-time Members and a Secretary.
- AERB is supported by the folowing committees
- Safety Review Committee for Operating Plants (SARCOP)– carries out safety surveillance and enforces safety stipulations in the operating units of the DAE.
- Safety Review Committee for Applications of Radiation (SARCAR) – recommends measures to enforce radiation safety in medical, industrial and research institutions which use radiation and radioactive sources
- Advisory Committees for Project Safety Review (ACPSRs) (e.g. nuclear power, light water reactor, andwaste management projects) – recommend to AERB issuance of authorisations at different stages of a plant of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), after reviewing the submissions made by the plant authorities based on the recommendations of the associated Design Safety Committees
“Kakrapar leak a ‘Level-1’ nuclear mishap, says AERB”
- India’s atomic energy regulatory body has classified the recent nuclear reactor leak at the (KAPS) as Level-1, or the lowest the International Nuclear and Radiological Event (INES) scale.
- In the Kakrapar atomic power station one of the pipes carrying heavy water ruptured and led to leakage on the floor of the reactor building. Though plant operators have identified the location of the leak, it will take a while for it to be plugged.
- Moreover, the leak occurred in a subsystem that had been refurbished with better quality material in 2011, as part of a planned upgrade.
- The present situation at KAPS Unit 1 is stable and the reactor is in cold shutdown state. The reactor is being continuously cooled and at present there are no major safety concerns.
- There has been no radioactivity release exceeding the specified daily limits for normal operation, between March 11, 2016, till date. There has also not been any case of workers receiving abnormal radiation exposures
- Though heavy water, a key component used to facilitate a nuclear reaction, was still leaking at the plant he didn’t expect anything untoward, as there was no surge in radiation.
- By comparison, the nuclear accidents in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011 and Chernobyl, Russia, in 1986 were Level 7 incidents, according to the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) update
Nuclear mishap ranking
- The International Nuclear and Radiological Event (INES) scale is a seven-rung classification scheme internationally used to rate the severity of nuclear mishaps.
- Developed by the International Atomic Energy Authority,
- Level 1 – as only akin to ‘an anomaly in the plant.’
- Levels 1-3 are termed ‘incidents’ and
- 4-7 as ‘accident.’
- However, independent experts said it was “surprising” that the incident was classified as only a Level-1 incident. Right now there are contradictory reports on the quantum of the leak. A Level-1 classification may be underestimating the seriousness of the incident,” said A. Gopalakrishan, the former Chairman, AERB, and a critic of India’s nuclear establishment
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