Atomic Energy Regulatory Board: -The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board is the primary institution tasked to look at issues regarding everything related to nuclear safety. It was constituted on 15 November 1983 by the President of India by exercising the powers conferred by Section 27 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.
The regulatory authority of AERB is derived from the rules and notifications promulgated under the Atomic Energy Act, of 1962 and the Environmental (Protection) Act, of 1986. The headquarters is in Mumbai. Currently, the Board consists of a full-time Chairman, an ex officio Member, three part-time Members, and a Secretary.
AERB is supported by the Safety Review Committee for Operating Plants (SARCOP), Safety Review Committee for Applications of Radiation (SARKAR), and Advisory Committees for Project Safety Review (ACPSRs) (e.g. Pressurized heavy-water reactor, light water reactor, and Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor and waste management projects).
ACPSRs recommend to AERB issuance of authorizations at different stages of a plant of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), after reviewing the submissions made by the plant authorities based on the recommendations of the associated Design Safety Committees. The SARCOP carries out safety surveillance and enforces safety stipulations in the operating units of the DAE. The SARCAR recommends measures to enforce radiation safety in medical, industrial, and research institutions which use radiation and radioactive sources.
Which other safety bodies support the AERB?
AERB receives advice from the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Safety (ACNS). The ACNS is composed of experts from AERB, DAE (Department of Atomic Energy, which was formed on August 3rd, 1954), and institutions outside the DAE. ACNS provides recommendations on the safety codes, Guides, and manuals prepared for sitting, design, construction, operation, quality assurance, and decommissioning/life extension of nuclear power plants which have been prepared by the respective advisory committees for each of these areas.
Nuclear Waste Management
Radioactive waste management refers to the safe treatment, storage, and disposal of liquid, solid, and gas discharge from nuclear industry operations with the goal of protecting people and the environment.
Whatever their origin, radioactive wastes have to be managed safely and economically.
Disposal of low-level waste is straightforward and can be undertaken safely almost anywhere. Storage of used fuel is normally under water for at least five years and then often in dry storage. Deep geological disposal is widely agreed to be the best solution for the final disposal of the most radioactive waste produced.
There are three types of nuclear waste, classified according to their radioactivity: low-, intermediate-, and high-level. The vast majority of the waste (90% of total volume) is composed of only lightly-contaminated items, such as tools and work clothing, and contains only 1% of the total radioactivity.
The various types of nuclear waste include uranium tailings, transuranic (TRU) waste, low-level waste, intermediate-level waste, high-level waste, and spent fuel rods.
- Nuclear power is the only large-scale energy-producing technology that takes full responsibility for all its waste and fully costs this into the product.
- The amount of waste generated by nuclear power is very small relative to other thermal electricity generation technologies.
- Used nuclear fuel may be treated as a resource or simply as waste.
- Nuclear waste is neither particularly hazardous nor hard to manage relative to other toxic industrial waste.
- Safe methods for the final disposal of high-level radioactive waste are technically proven; the international consensus is that geological disposal is the best option.