India's Nuclear Safety Report

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Daredevil, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    India's nuclear safety report warns of Fukushima-like disaster

    New Delhi: The national auditor's report on India's nuclear safety has raised concerns over a weak regulatory body. In its report on the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board's (AERB) performance audit, the Comptroller and Auditor General has warned a Fukushima or Chernobyl-like disaster if the nuclear safety issue is not addressed by the government.

    The AERB, which supervises safety issues at India's 22 running nuclear plants, has no power to make rules, enforce compliance or impose penalty in cases of nuclear safety oversight. It can impose a fine of maximum R
    s.
    500 as a deterrent in cases.

    The report says, "The legal status of the AERB continued to be that of an authority subordinate to the Central Government, with powers delegated to it by the latter."

    The national auditor said there was an urgent need for the government to bolster the status of AERB if it was to qualify as an independent regulator in a sector which was likely to become increasingly important in meeting the country's energy needs.

    The auditor also pulled up the nuclear regulator for failing to prepare any safety policy for the country even after three decades of its existence.

    "Out of the 168 standards, codes and guides identified by AERB for development under various thematic areas, 27 safety documents still remained to be developed...," said the report which was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday.

    The report said without the legal status, the AERB neither has the authority for framing or revising rules relating to nuclear and radiation safety nor can it decide on the quantum of penalties leave alone imposing them.

    The report said off-site emergency exercises highlighted the inadequate emergency preparedness to deal with situations involving radiological effects from a nuclear power plant which may extend to public areas.

    "Further, AERB was not empowered to secure compliance of corrective measures suggested by it," the audit report said.

    It was found that the approach road to the plant site of Tarapur Atomic Power Station was highly congested, which would pose serious problems in dealing with any future emergency, it said.

    The report said there was no legislative framework for decommissioning of nuclear power plants and the AERB did not have any mandate except prescribing of codes, guides and safety manuals on decommissioning.

    "Even after the lapse of 13 years from the issue of the Safety Manual by AERB, none of the nuclear power plants in the country, including those operating for 30 years, and those which had been shut down, had any decommissioning plan," it said.

    The report pointed out that the International Atomic Energy Agency had recognised the need for independence for regulatory bodies and a number of countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Pakistan and the US have conferred legal status to their respective bodies.

    The government has introduced the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (Bill), which seeks to provide statutory status to the nuclear regulator, in Parliament last year.

    The AERB was constituted through an executive order in 1983 and reports to the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
     
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  3. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Hope the gaps are plugged. Nuclear is the future.
     
  4. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Link for the safety report on CAG's website

    Report no-9
     
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  5. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Atomic Energy Regulatory Board Releases the Annual Report for the Year 2011-12

    Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has released its Annual Report for the year 2011-2012, which brings out the safety status of the nuclear and radiation facilities regulated by it. The Report highlights the outcome of the post Fukushima-Comprehensive safety review that was carried out to verify the existing safety margins of Indian Nuclear Power Plants and Projects (NPPs) against the extreme external hazards, including special focused inspections. The safety review recognized the inherent strengths of design, operating practices and regulations followed in India, which have resulted in robust systems capable of withstanding challenges arising from external events.

    To further augment the existing safety features of NPPs, safety enhancements as recommended by AERB-High Level Committee, have been accepted by AERB for time-bound implementation. These measures include among others, enhancing the reliability of cooling through external hook up points, training and mock-up exercises of operating personnel, strengthening backup power supply, strengthening provision for monitoring of critical parameter under prolonged loss of power, enhancing Severe Accident Management programme, creation of an emergency response facility capable of withstanding severe flood, cyclone & earthquake, etc. AERB will be rigorously monitoring the implementation of all the requirements.

    The Annual Report also focuses on the safety status of Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs), Fuel Cycle Facilities (FCFs) and Radiation Facilities monitored by AERB. The safety statistics of NPPs and FCFs for 2011-12 brings out the following salient information.

    • No event in the operating nuclear power plants has been categorized as an ‘accident’ as per International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES).

    • The radiation doses of occupational workers of nuclear facilities were well within the annual dose limit, with an exception of 3 cases of over exposure at KAPS-1&2. These doses are too small to cause any detectable impact on the health of the workers.

    • The liquid and gaseous wastes discharged to the environment from the operating units were only a small fraction of the prescribed Technical Specification limits.

    • The estimated radiation dose to members of the public near the operating plants is much less than the annual limit of 1mSv as prescribed by AERB, the maximum being less than 4% for old plant sites and less than 0.2% for new plant sites.

    • Over the years, with constant efforts from AERB and dedicated commitment from utilities, the industrial safety performance of DAE units has improved appreciably.

    AERB adopted several measures for strengthening its regulatory control over radiation facilities, which include computerization of inventory of legacy sources, initiation of steps to implement state of the art e-licensing of radiation applications, establishing regional regulatory centres, conducting awareness programmes, increasing the number of inspections in the radiation facilities etc.

    AERB continued its process of development of regulatory documents and issued seven new documents.

    In the field of International Co-operation, as a Contracting Party to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), India is participating and contributing in the review meetings of CNS. AERB presented the national report of India during the 5th review meeting of the contracting parties of CNS at Vienna. AERB also became a full member of Multi-national Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP) through which participating regulatory bodies of various countries evolve common approaches for harmonization of regulatory and safety practices.

    Apart from the mandated activities, AERB was keenly involved in carrying out safety related studies and various safety promotional activities, which have been elaborated in the annual report.

    The full report is available on AERB website.
     

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