The mission of the AERB is to ensure the use of ionising radiation and nuclear energy in India does not cause undue risk to the health of people and the environment.

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Reflections and future directions – Thoughts from the new Chairman

Shri Dinesh K Shukla

Shri Dinesh Kumar Shukla

I assumed charge as Chairman of this esteemed organisation at the dawn of New Year. It is the time when the spirits are high with renewed resolutions and commitments to excel in all walks of life. So, I feel this is the most appropriate time to share my thoughts.

In the last couple of years, we all have witnessed the way Covid-19 pandemic has challenged humanity. It has subtly but impactfully taught us to cherish the core humanitarian values such as being supportive of each other and sharing kindness and compassion. It is because of these shared values, beliefs and commitment, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) could continue to function with undeterred resolve to ensure safe functioning of all facilities and activities under AERB’s purview.  We need to be vigilant, exercise precautions and be ready to adopt quickly the evolved good practices to deal with the situation, if need arises again.

The fundamental objective of AERB 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.  To this end AERB defines the requirements to be met by users of ionizing radiations so as to ensure nuclear and radiation safety.  The regulatory processes of review, inspection and enforcement are implemented on a nuclear or radiation facility so that the regulatory requirements are adhered to.  This is done using a graded approach – high risk facilities are given commensurate level of attention.  Ensuring safety and following regulatory requirements is primarily the responsibility of the owners of the facilities.

AERB has traversed a long path from its evolution to attaining maturity in the area of safety regulation. Its credibility as a competent regulator is well established nationally and internationally.

“Safety” is perceived as a journey and not as destination, so is the case with safety regulations. To me safety regulation is a journey on an ascending slope where you have to strive hard to hold on and to move up; no scope for complacency. Tracking the emerging new technologies and preparing for regulating them, needs sustained efforts and systematic approach.

AERB has taken lead in implementing the Integrated Management System embedding vision, mission, Code of ethics, policies & strategies in line with international standards and in having well documented formal guidance for application of graded approach in regulation and in carrying out its own safety culture assessment. Close monitoring, assessment and corrective actions to ensure their effective implementation and effecting improvements based on feedback is an endless challenge.

AERB takes cognizance of the fact that licensee’s good safety performance is not a certain indicator of effective regulation, but licensee’s bad safety performance is a definitive indicator of ineffective regulation. Therefore, assessment of effectiveness of our regulation is based on the improvements in the licensee’s safety performance as a result of influencing, persuasion, enforcement or other action by the AERB, besides safety performance of Licensees.

We have come a long way in establishing mechanism for effective safety regulation of radiation applications.  Operationalization of ambitious plan of state-of-art web based E-Licensing of Radiation Applications (e-LORA) platform is a milestone achievement.  AERB is also putting great impetus on awareness programmes to sensitize its stakeholders and public on safety and regulatory requirements on use of radiation in societal applications. I strongly feel that it is apt time for AERB to explore and bond with concerned control authorities/agencies for seamless regulatory interfaces and simplification of regulation especially for widespread application of radioisotopes and radiation in non-power sector.

I am hopeful that in coming days, with active support of the staff and stakeholders, we will be able to steer this organisation to newer heights and set benchmarks in safety regulations. I am quite hopeful that AERB will live up to the expectations of its stakeholders and continue to gear up to the new challenges and perform its responsibilities efficiently and effectively.

Let us all commit ourselves towards excellence in every field through our individual and collective efforts.               

Jai Hind.

Address & Contact Numbers:

Chairman

Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

Niyamak Bhavan Anushaktinagar,

Mumbai - 400 094.

Tel. : +91-22-2556 2343,

Fax : +91-22-2556 2344

E-Mail: chairman[at]aerb[dot]gov[dot]in

Shri D.K Shukla taking charge as Chairman, AERB ( R)  from
Shri G. Nageswara Rao, former Chairman, AERB ( L) 
on December 31, 2022

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