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|May 31, 2002|
The Rediff Special/ George Iype
Nuclear facilities in India adopt internationally accepted guidelines for ensuring their safe operations and safety to the public and the environment. An independent regulatory authority -- the Department of Atomic Energy -- oversees their safe operations.
The union government has come out with a series of dos and don'ts in case of a nuclear disaster in the country. Thus, if there is 'a nuclear emergency in your area':
DO the following immediately:
The government has also issued five DON'TS. They are:
The Department of Atomic Energy is the nodal agency in India in respect of man made nuclear emergencies. In 1987, the DAE constituted a Crisis Management Group to deal with any nuclear disaster that could occur in the country.
As per the DEA rules, the CMG is immediately activated and will coordinate between the local authorities in the event of a nuclear disaster.
In the event of any other type of nuclear emergency in the public domain arising from the unauthorised presence or suspected presence of nuclear materials, a booklet giving the essential guidelines to be followed has been circulated to state governments and local authorities.
Among other steps mentioned, the guidelines require that the nearest listed DAE facility as well as the DAE Emergency Control Room be contacted immediately, who would then advise the further necessary steps to be taken to attend to the emergency.
For all its clarity, the guidelines seem to have left out one important instruction: when all else fails, pray.
Also read: Clear and present danger
The Rediff Specials
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