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 Table of Contents  
REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 766-771

The spectrum of the atomic energy regulatory board under the department of atomic energy with respect to a medical radiation facility


1 Asst.Professor/Consultant Medical Physicist and Consultant Radiological Safety Officer, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Science (Deemed to be University), Sawangi, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
2 Ass.Professor/Consultant Radiologist/Dean Interdisciplinary Science, Meghe Institute of Medical Science (Deemed to be University), Sawangi, Wardha, India
3 Professor, Dept of Physics, RTM Nagpur University, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
4 Professor/Chief Medical Superintendent, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Science (Deemed to be University), Sawangi, Wardha, India

Date of Submission14-Jun-2022
Date of Decision21-Jun-2022
Date of Acceptance29-Jun-2022
Date of Web Publication2-Nov-2022

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Luharia Anurag
Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Science (Deemed to be University), Sawangi, Wardha, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdmimsu.jdmimsu_254_22

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  Abstract 


Increasing medical radiation facility strongly demands to have a dedicated, competent regulatory body for guiding and managing radiation safety, quality, and standardization of rules and regulations to safeguard the human population nature from adverse effects of radiation. In India, we have the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board for managing the medical radiation facility for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions and also to save them from radiation hazards under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), India. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has launched the e-Licensing of Radiation Application (eLORA), which is an application built on the web-based that establishes a channel of direct communication between the AERB and its stakeholders for information and communication exchanges in terms of providing regulatory services with higher levels of effectiveness, reliability, and transparency. They also provide various radiation awareness programs, advertisements, and radiation safety guidelines for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. DAE has a very wide spectrum in which the AERB plays a vital role in establishing regulatory processes, activities of radiation facilities such as radiodiagnosis, radiotherapy, and nuclear medicine in medical also create and publish regulatory safety documentation for utilities and consumers along with acts and regulation. Basically, AERB provides the common platform for all the radiation practicing medical institutions through eLORA, which help to streamline the radiation practice toward the betterment of humankind.

Keywords: Atomic Energy Regulatory , Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Government of India


How to cite this article:
Anurag L, Gaurav M, Sanjay D, Chandrashekar M. The spectrum of the atomic energy regulatory board under the department of atomic energy with respect to a medical radiation facility. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ 2022;17:766-71

How to cite this URL:
Anurag L, Gaurav M, Sanjay D, Chandrashekar M. The spectrum of the atomic energy regulatory board under the department of atomic energy with respect to a medical radiation facility. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 1];17:766-71. Available from: http://www.journaldmims.com/text.asp?2022/17/3/766/360200




  Introduction Top


India really evolved as a vibrant, important nation during the past two decades. It has been the fastest developing major financial prudence in the world in terms of economics, agriculture, industries, and most notably, nuclear power; it is playing an expanding role in global affairs, including as a member of the G20 and the BRICS group of newly industrialized countries. India has a well-defined and structured division of atomic energy under which the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) is primarily answerable for the medical use of radiation.


  Division of Department of Atomic Energy Top


The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) was established on August 3, 1954, by Presidential Order under the supervision of the Prime Minister. DAE has contributed to the improvement of nuclear energy technology as well as agriculture, health, industry, and fundamental research, all benefit from the usage of radiation technology. Five research institutions, three industrial enterprises, five public sector entities, and three service organizations make up the DAE. It is governed by two bodies charged with encouraging and financing extramural research in nuclear and related areas, as well as mathematics, as well as a state institution. In addition, it sponsors eight internationally renowned institutions that study fundamental sciences and education, including astronomy, astrophysics, and cancer research. In addition, it maintains an educational organization that offers educational opportunities for DAE workers' children. It is subdivided further into the following wings:

Research centers

Under the DAE, there are around six organizations which are responsible for the research in the field of technology, atomic minerals, medical application-related technological advancement, and coal-based thermal power; there is a wide range of topics covered, such as fuel reprocessing and waste management and many more as shown in [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Shows the research center under DAE. DAE: Department of Atomic Energy

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Nuclear powers

BHAVINI and NPCIL are the two companies responsible for building and commissioning future fast breeder reactors for the generation of electricity as part of the Government of India's (GOI) plans and programs. NPCIL is also responsible for constructing and commissioning nuclear power plants and implementing nuclear power projects for the generation of electricity.

Industries

All the industries are contributing toward the electric, agriculture, medical, and environmental development using atomic energy under the GOI [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Contributing Industries under GIO. GIO: Global Industry Organizations

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Service organizations

The following two service organizations are responsible for the organizational demands, growth, construction services, and estate management.

Grant in aid institutions and others

There are around 16 institutes and organizations mainly responsible for education, teaching, and research [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Grant in aid institutions

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Regulatory authority

Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

The AERB has regulated nuclear and radiation safety in India for the past 36 years. The Atomic Energy Act of 1962 recommends using atomic energy and radiation technology for social benefit while assuring their safe distribution in accordance with well-established criteria and global levels. The AERB was established in 1983 to convey the regulatory and safety tasks outlined in sections 16, 17, and 23 of the act. The AERB's goal has been to ensure that the use of ionizing radiation and nuclear energy in India within its jurisdiction does not pose unreasonable harm to people's and the environment's health. According to well-established safety standards, the facility owner bears “primary responsibility” for safety. In this regard, the facility owner has a minimal duty to guarantee that the safety principles and AERB criteria are followed. Furthermore, their service providers and stakeholders must adhere to the facility's quality standards and maintain a level of competency appropriate to the services they provide. For the creation and management of nuclear and radiation facilities, the AERB has designed a framework of regulations to ensure that facility owners fulfill their main duty for safety and that the established regulatory measures are adhered to (which generate, handle, and/or store radioactive sources). To ensure safety, regulators, facility owners, operators, and other stakeholders must all recognize and embrace their roles and obligations. This will assist us in overcoming the particular challenges of maintaining nuclear, radiological, fire, and industrial safety while simultaneously protecting the environment at the plants. The AERB is aiding this collaboration in reaching its safety excellence target. The AERB's mission is to protect Indian citizens' health and the environment from harm caused by the country's use of ionizing radiation and nuclear energy.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12]

As of 1969, there was no official regulatory procedure in place to authorize Tarapur reactors' initial approach to criticality. Sarabhai tasked an independent team led by A. K. Ganguly, which included N. Srinivasan and other RED and BARC officials, with evaluating the commissioning activities and advising him on future steps. The committee faced a difficult task because both TAPS units attained criticality in the same month. The same group also looked at plant safety while it was running. DAE Safety Review committee (DAE-SRC), the previous Tarapur committee, was renamed DAE Safety Review Committee (DAE-SRC) in February 1972, and its jurisdiction was enlarged to encompass RAPS-1. The DAE-SRC was granted additional responsibilities in December 1975, including dealing with serious safety requirements and concerns in all DAE divisions. Power and research reactors, as well as UCIL, IREL, NFC, and other fuel cycle facilities, were included in the study. The AERB Installation Secretary DAE appointed M. D. to research terms of reference, functions and reporting procedures for SRC units as well as committee issues are discussed. DAE-mandated SRCs and operations had to be evaluated” to guarantee that not just safety awareness is instilled, but that safe practices prevail in all DAE units, including public sector businesses.” When Karkhanawala died in a car accident in February 1980, V. N. Meckoni, then Director, Chemical Group, BARC, took over as Chairman. The committee investigated SRC's role as a regulatory organization, the hurdles to SRC's operation, and the authority to be granted to SRC. Establish a regulatory body “to efficiently carry out DAE's regulatory and safety responsibilities as envisioned by Sections 16, 17, and 23 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1962.” The investigation looked into the current organizational frameworks for safety coverage. Although the committee discovered no errors in DAE's conduct of its safety review tasks, it did make the following critical observation DAE activities, and the widespread usage of radiation sources have necessitated a distinct agency for effective regulation and safety functions. In its “Reorganization of Regulatory and Safety Functions” report (February 1981), the committee proposed that the Atomic Energy Commission establish an AERB to set safety standards and assist DAE in formulating rules and regulations to enforce the Atomic Energy Act 1962. The committee further proposed that AERB be designated as a statutory entity under the act (if required by amending the act). According to the committee, AERB should be formed of top DAE officials as well as external members to operate efficiently and independently. This would boost public confidence in nuclear safety. The committee described the activities of the AERB and SRC, including their composition, functions, and powers, as well as the design safety committees of the AERB and SRC, the Health Physics Division, and the Division of Radiological Protection. AERB's new facilities were also featured in the publication. The AERB's present responsibilities are nearly identical to those outlined in the committee's report. The committee proposed that AERB establish and monitor national safety standards for nuclear and radiological installations. SRC is responsible for enforcing AERB safety rules in DAE operational units, as well as monitoring safety incidents and planned design changes. AERB also directed SRC to provide monthly updates on the operational safety of DAE's units. SRC shall assess deviations from AERB safety standards and operational technical requirements and take appropriate enforcement action. “If AERB feels that enforcement action is insufficient in a particular situation,” the committee stated.[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20]

Its foresight is astounding. Its recommendations were to guarantee that AERB has the necessary competence to operate. Additional regulatory bodies, including the Central Electricity Authority, the Central Pollution Control Board, the Ministry of Labor, and academic institutions, were urged to share their knowledge. AERB is accompanying you. A second notification followed, specifying DAE duties, SRCs, and obligations. Outside of the DAE, the AERB implemented radiological protection legislation. The Division of Radiological Protection at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre would assist non-DAE organizations. The AERB investigated infractions of its safety standards. Appeals against AERB decisions are heard by the Atomic Energy Commission. The AERB's inaugural Chairman was A. K. De, a former Director of IIT, Bombay. P. N. Krishnamoorthy, Vice-Director of Radiation Protection, has been appointed Member-Secretary. The board also included B. D. Gupta, Head of Radiation Oncology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, and E. C. Subba Rao, Director, Tata Research Development & Design Centre, Pune. The Chairman, according to the AERB's constitution, has the ability to administer the atomic energy laws for nuclear and radiation safety throughout the country. The AERB is also in charge of executing the Industrial Safety Act of 1948 at all DAE units. AERB is in charge of enforcing the Environment Protection Act of 1986 at DAE facilities.

AERB established an office in the Anushakti Bhavan in 1983 (Old Yacht Club). The first meeting of the board was held on March 10, 1984. On September 5, 1985, the board approved a formal organizational structure, which went into effect on September 30, 1985. AERB regulates nuclear, radiation, and industrial safety at DAE and non-DAE facilities and prepares regulatory papers. Nuclear and industrial safety, radiation safety, and computer facilities and analysis were in charge of this. Safety research training and publication and library services were two other divisions. On March 21, 1987, a committee chaired by V. N. Meckoni assessed AERB's duties and responsibilities. The report of the committee was due on May 15, 1987. On the committee's advice, AERB-SRC, and later, the Safety Review Committee for Operating Plants, was founded (AERB-SARCOP). The functions and powers of the AERB were considerably enlarged. The Meckoni committee's initial notice and recommendations were followed by the AERB, which went into action immediately. Four divisions were established: nuclear safety, industrial, operating plant, and radiation. In 1988, AERB moved to Anushakti Nagar's Vikram Sarabhai Bhavan. On August 2, 1996, AERB moved to Niyamak Bhavan, its own office building in Anushakti Nagar. AERB recognized the necessity for an internal research and development center for regulatory research in 1999 and established the Safety Research Institute in Kalpakkam. When the AERB personnel grew, a new office building called “Niyamak Bhavan-B” had to be built. This new facility was finished and occupied in November 2007.[21],[22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30]


  Methodology Top


AERB technical reports series and official website are taken for study, PubMed with keywords “AERB + DAE + IAEA” shown more than 100 related articles also Google Scholar is the source for this narrative historical study.


  Results and Conclusions Top


There are codes and standards in place to ensure the safety of nuclear installations in the planning stages and during their lifecycles, as well as for their decommissioning when they are no longer necessary. Consents for the site, building, and commissioning of the facility are also granted through an approval process. Ensure compliance with AERB regulatory standards throughout the consenting process through an assessment and evaluation system, regulatory inspection (RI), and enforcement. Acceptable levels of radiation exposure for employees and the general public, as well as acceptable levels of radioactive material emissions into the environment, are also set. It not only maintains safety liaison with statutory authorities in the United States and abroad but also encourages safety research and development and focuses on concerns of nuclear and industrial safety at the facilities. It oversees the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010, mandates that they keep tabs on the safety and security of the country's nuclear plants and alert the public in the event of any “nuclear incident.”


  Regulatory Process Top


AERB regulates nuclear and radiation facilities and activities in India to ensure that their usage does not harm human health or the environment. AERB is also in charge of industrial safety at DAE's units. AERB oversees a wide range of facilities and operations, including nuclear power plants, the nuclear fuel cycle, particle accelerators, and medical X-rays, among others. The quantity of facilities and activities, as well as their distribution throughout the nation, varies. To effectively fulfill its duties, AERB employs a variety of regulatory procedures. For effective regulation, these procedures guarantee the employment of a graded approach. The following are the main processes: (1) Developing safety standards and guidelines for services and handlers. (2) The process of obtaining a license for different facilities and activities based on safety standards and guidelines. (3) RIs to ensure that licensing terms and safety standards are met.

Its (AERB) operations are evaluated and improved using organizational experience and other relevant national and international resources. If the Chairman is the competent authority, the AERB has the authority to enforce the rules' requirements and provisions. Safety codes and standards, safety guidelines, safety manuals and guides, and other regulatory safety materials are all produced by the AERB. It is necessary to do a safety evaluation and assessment as well as licensing/consenting, RI, and regulatory enforcement (RE).


  Facilities and Activities Top


Nuclear facility

Heavy water plants, beryllium extraction facilities, zirconium plants, and other nuclear fuel cycle components are all included in this industrial landscape.

Radiation facility and activities

In research, industry, medicine, and agriculture, any installation/equipment or activity that utilizes radiation-generating devices or radioisotopes is referred to as a radioactive installation/equipment or activity. Transportation of radioactive materials and waste management are two examples of activities. The AERB regulates the following types of facilities: nuclear projects, nuclear power plants, operational nuclear fuel cycle facilities, industrial and research and development facilities, and radiation facilities.

The AERB is responsible for a range of tasks, including the transportation management of radioactive waste.[31],[32],[33],[34],[35],[36]

Publications

AERB creates and publishes regulatory safety documentation for utilities and consumers. These regulatory safety papers elaborate on the technical and legal elements of the relevant laws. It is authorized by Radiation Protection Rules. To ensure a graduated approach, regulatory safety papers are created to cover the full range of regulated facilities and activities documents, including safety standards, codes, guidelines, guides, and manuals, and are available in PDF format. AERB sells a hardbound version of the same.

AERB produces an annual report that summarizes the organization's operations for the year, an Annual Bulletin that summarizes the material in the annual report, and a biannual AERB newsletter that summarizes the organization's 6-month activities.

Acts and regulations

Atomic Energy Act, 1962; Amendments of Atomic Energy Act, 2015; Environmental Protection Act, 1986; Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010 and Atomic Energy Mines Minerals Prescribed Substance Rules, 1984; Atomic Energy Safe Disposal of Radioactive Waste Rules, 1987; Atomic Energy Factories Rules, 1996; Atomic Energy Radiation Protection Rules, 2004; Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Rules, 2011.


  Discussion Top


AERB has done a commendable and remarkable job for establishing and streamlining the statutory and regulatory protocol, mainly toward the medical sector who is using ionizing or atomic radiation for the treatment and diagnosis of disease. It has also contributed to education and radiation awareness at the national as well as international levels.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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