Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB): Notes for UPSC

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) was constituted on November 15, 1983, by the President of India by exercising the powers conferred by the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 to carry out certain regulatory and safety functions under the Act. The regulatory authority of AERB is derived from the rules and notifications promulgated under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 and the Environment Protection Act, 1986. AERB’s headquarters is in Mumbai.

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.

This article provides information about Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) in the context of the IAS Exam.

Latest context relate to  Atomic Energy Regulatory Board – AERB –

  1. AERB celebrated “National Safety Day” on March 4, 2021.
    • Every year, 4th March is celebrated as National Safety Day to commemorate the foundation of the National Safety Council (NSC) of India in the year 1966. The theme for this year’s National Safety Day-2021 is “Learn from disaster and prepare for a safer future”.
    • AERB annually confers Industrial Safety Awards and Fire Safety Awards to the deserving Department of Atomic Energy- DAE units under its purview, based on evaluation of their performance throughout the year.

Candidates can refer to relevant articles linked below for their UPSC preparation –

What is the main mission of the AERB?

The mission of the Board is to ensure that the use of ionizing radiation and nuclear energy in India does not cause undue risk to health and the environment. Currently, the Board consists of a full-time Chairman, an ex officio Member, three part-time Members, and a Secretary.

Who is the Chairman of the AERB?

Nageshwara Rao Guntur has been appointed as the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) as per an order issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Government of India. Shri Guntur Nageswara Rao, has taken charge as the new Chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) on January 4, 2019.

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What are the Functions of AERB?

  1. Develop safety policies in nuclear, radiation, and industrial safety areas for facilities under its purview.
  2. Develop Safety Codes, Guides, and Standards for siting, design, construction, commissioning, operation and decommissioning of different types of nuclear and radiation facilities.
  3. Grant consents for siting, construction, commissioning, operation and decommissioning, after an appropriate safety review and assessment, for the establishment of nuclear and radiation facilities.
  4. Ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements prescribed by AERB.
  5. Prescribe the acceptance limits of radiation exposure to occupational workers and members of the public and acceptable limits of environmental releases of radioactive substances.
  6. Review the emergency preparedness plans for nuclear and radiation facilities.
  7. Prescribe the syllabi for training and review the training program, qualifications, and licensing policies for personnel of nuclear and radiation facilities.
  8. Maintain liaison with statutory bodies in the country as well as abroad regarding safety matters.
  9. Promote research and development efforts in the areas of safety.
  10. Notifying the public, the ‘nuclear incident’, occurring in the nuclear installations in India, as mandated by the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010.

What are the organisational strategies of AERB?

AERB will be pursuing the following strategies which are consistent with the organisational policies in the next three years (i.e. 2019 to 2021).

  • Further, strengthen the role of AERB’s staff in efficiently and effectively carrying out the core regulatory processes to obtain the best outcome from the multi-tiered regulatory review mechanism.
  • Remain at par with the International benchmark in Scientific and Technical capabilities required for regulatory work.
  • Identify areas for upgrading in-house competencies through competency mapping and to strengthen the required competence. To provide opportunities to the staff to grow further in terms of their capabilities and gain diverse experience.
  • Update and revise regulatory documents with an aim to harmonize and simplify the regulatory requirements, including the need to prepare for regulation for diverse technologies of NPPs and Radiation Facilities.
  • Strengthen the regulatory inspection process by further improving planning, execution and its assessment.
  • Strengthen the regulatory interfaces with other concerned agencies as part of national coordination for effective implementation and enforcement of regulatory provisions.
  • Remain transparent to stakeholders and put in all efforts to sustain credibility in exercising regulatory responsibilities.
  • Create awareness among the public and professionals about radiation hazards as well as radiation protection aspects.

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 siting, 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.

Is AERB a statutory body?

In 1980, a committee headed by Shri V.N.Meckoni  had recommended that AERB should be made as a statutory body. Currently, AERB is functioning as per the recommendations of the Shri V.N.Meckoni Committee.

What is the composition of AERB Board?

  • The Board consists of six members of which two are whole-time members including the Chairman.
  • The other whole-time member is the Executive Director of the AERB Secretariat, who is an ex-officio member of the Board. The other four members are eminent experts from various disciplines relevant to the mandate of the Board.

What is eLORA in radiology?

eLORA stands for e-licensing of Radiation Applications. As per the statutory requirement given by AERB, all medical radiation facilities in India (nuclear medicine/radiotherapy/diagnostic radiology) have to mandatorily obtain a license from the eLORA platform, which is a web-based application on the AERB website.

AERB:- Download PDF Here

What is the AERB registration?

All institutes in possession of medical diagnostic x-ray equipment must mandatorily obtain a license for operation from AERB. This can be done by registering at the e-governance platform eLORA (e-licensing of Radiation Applications).

Frequently Asked Questions on Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

Q 1. What is the full form of AERB?

Ans. AERB stands for Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. Its mission is to ensure that the use of ionizing radiation and nuclear energy in India does not cause undue risk to the health of people and the environment.

Q 2. Who is the chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board?

Ans. Shri G. Nageswara Rao is the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.

The UPSC Syllabus page is the best source of information about the general pattern of the exam. For more UPSC related preparation materials and articles, visit the links given in the table below:

The above details would help candidates preparing for UPSC 2021.

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