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Safety and Environment

The safety operations through the entire nuclear fuel cycle, from prospecting and mining of ores to management of waste, encompass all the aspects of safety, viz. radiological safety, industrial safety, occupational health, fire safety and environmental protection.

In all the nuclear installations, care is taken to protect operating personnel, public and the environment. An independent body, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AFRB) monitors safety. The safety standards formulated by AREB are on par with those recommended by the international organisations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP).

NPCIL is a member of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). The Association has conducted peer reviews of the atomic power stations at Kakrapar and Narora. Also, from time to time, Indian experts have participated in peer reviews in a number of countries including USA, Japan and South Korea. As a result of consistent efforts, the nuclear power plants have achieved about 260 reactor years of safe operation.

Safety surveillance inspections are regularly carried out and comprehensive Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans to handle postulated emergency scenarios are in action at the DAE facilities.

BARC and the laboratories accredited by it conduct countrywide personnel monitoring in about 3000 industrial, medical, research and DAE organisations which benefit over 30,000 radiation workers annually.

Environmental radiation monitoring and environmental surveillance are the regular features of the environmental protection programme of DAE.

At different sites, the Environment Survey Labs (ESLs) of BARC continuously monitor environment, and collect site-related meteorological data. Sophisticated weather monitoring SODAR systems are operational at Kaiga, Kalpakkam, Tarapur and Trombay.

IREMON, a nationwide network of environmental radiation monitoring stations detects radiation releases. Interfaced with global positioning system, a Compact Aerial Radiation Monitoring System. (CARMS) for estimation of large area contamination using unmanned aerial vehicle, is also in operation at Trombay. DAE is committed to not only preserving the environment but also to its further enrichment. All the operating nuclear power plants and heavy water plants now have the ISO environment certificate.

To educate the public living around nuclear power plants, public awareness programmes by DAE organisations are organised on a regular basis.

Environment Friendly Technologies

DAE is a pioneer in conducting comprehensive thermal ecology studies in India. The flue gas conditioning technology developed by Heavy Water Board is now helping to reduce fly ash emission from thermal boilers.

The Nisarga-Runa technology developed at BARC converts biodegradable solid waste into useful manure and methane. A number of such plants have been set up at various places.

The Sewage Sludge Hygienisation plant (SHRI) at Vadodara continues to provide dried hygienic sludge for use by farmers.

The hygienised sludge being pathogen free can be beneficially used as manure in the agricultural fields as it is rich in nutrients required for the soil. Further, it can also be used as a medium for growing soil-useful bacteria like-rhizobium and azetobactor to produce enriched manure that can be used to enhance the crop yields. Large scale field trials of utilizing radiation processed municipal sewage sludge in the agricultural fields have been conducted under the supervision of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK, Vadodara). The trials conducted showed increase in the yields of many agricultural crops.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 09-02-2011