India to ask IAEA for review of nuclear regulatory process

As questions continue to be raised about the independence and effectiveness of the regulatory structure for atomic energy

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:September 20, 2012 12:42 am

As questions continue to be raised about the independence and effectiveness of the regulatory structure for atomic energy,India will soon ask the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for a peer review of its regulatory system with a special focus on its ability to ensure safety of nuclear power plants.

“Preparation and planning for inviting IAEA’s Integrated Regulatory Review Service for peer review of our regulatory system is in progress,and in due course,India will approach the agency with a request to undertake this mission,” Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy Ratan Kumar Sinha said at the annual general conference of IAEA in Vienna.

The regulatory functions in India are carried out by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. Since the head of AERB reports to the Department of Atomic Energy,questions have been raised over the independence of the regulatory body,and therefore,its ability to ensure safety in the nuclear plants.

The government has started work on the creation of completely independent Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority that will be totally delinked from the DAE.

Sinha said India was committed to implement the IAEA action plan on nuclear safety. “In this connection I wish to inform you that the first OSART (Operational Safety Review Team) mission to India for Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) units 3 and 4 is planned from the end of October,” he said.

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