Stringent safety mechanisms in place to ensure n-safety: AERB

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Seeking to allay fears over safety of nuclear installations in the country, the AERB today said it has stringent inspection mechanisms in place and had even ordered shutdown of nuclear plants found wanting on issues related to safety.

Atomic Energy Regulatory Board Chairman S S Bajaj appeared before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee armed with a 69-page point-by-point response to questions raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) over its performance.

The CAG had submitted the report on the performance audit of AERB to Parliament in August.

  

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Besides Bajaj, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman R K Sinha and Principal Advisor with the Department of Atomic Energy Ravi Grover were among the officials who appeared before the PAC chaired by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

On the CAG’s recommendation on strengthening the process of regulatory inspections of nuclear facilities, the AERB said that “the existing system of inspections for nuclear facilities is already rigorous and adequate in line with the above (safety) documents.

“AERB is fully autonomous with regard to its regulatory decision making. AERB has not allowed its present legal status or organisational position, to hinder the discharge of the assigned responsibilities in an autonomous, professional and effective manner,” the nuclear regulator said.

“… In extreme situations, AERB has even ordered shutdown of plants or suspension of activities in ongoing projects,” he said.

Sinha told the PAC that in order to improve the existing legal framework and for bringing in institutional separation concerning promotional and regulatory functions, the government has tabled the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill in Parliament.

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