Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Indian Prime Minister reviews atomic disaster preparedness

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Jun 1, IRNA -- India’s Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh on Wednesday reviewed India's atomic disaster preparedness at a high level meeting in New Delhi.

During the meeting, called in the wake of recent nuclear radiation scare in Japan, Prime Minister directed that the best practices and procedures be put in place.

Chairing the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Singh tasked it to put in place the world's best possible safety precautions and procedures at nuclear plants.

The meeting discussed various steps to meet nuclear disasters.

These include fast-tracking of creation of disaster response forces in places in addition to existing four and procurement of special radiation-detection vehicles.

At the meeting, the Prime Minister reviewed the safety measures being undertaken by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) in respect of the nuclear facilities in the country and directed DAE and AERB to upgrade the safety measures in the light of the Fukushima experience and look at Beyond Design Basis Accident, said Vice Chairman NDMA, M. Shashidhar Reddy briefing the media about the review meeting.

Singh also took stock of guidelines of management of nuclear and radiological emergencies issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Among the various steps to be considered as part of the chemical, biological, radiological nuclear response and rescue preparedness is a project for installation of 'dosi-meters' in 1000 police stations in 35 cities having more than one million population.

Reddy said that NDMA is focused on the preparedness to deal with nuclear and radiological emergencies. In India, there was no accident in any of the nuclear facilities in the past.

However, there have been incidents of radiation emergency, including the one at Mayapuri, New Delhi last year in which one person died. It has been reported that only 50 people from different parts of the country (outside DAE facility) suffered in these incidents due to exposure to radiation mostly from orphan sources. It was highlighted that it is the orphan sources and other radiological accidents which are of greater concern as they have resulted in exposure to different degrees to people at various centers in the work in the past, he added.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30414075

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