The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has held a one-day discussion meet on “Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities and Release of Site from Regulatory Control” on January 19, 2024. The purpose of this gathering was to consolidate experiences in decommissioning, identify potential areas for regulatory enhancement, and foster a clearer roadmap for the future. A press release on this meet was published on January 23, 2024.
Fifty participants, representing various units of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), actively engaged in the discussion, with some attending both in person and through an online mode. The meet commenced with an opening address by the Executive Director of AERB, who highlighted the regulatory framework and challenges in the realm of decommissioning.
Additionally, the Chairman of AERB, emphasized the need to consider decommissioning in the early stages of facility planning. In his inaugural address, he stressed the importance of integrating decommissioning considerations into the mindset of facility designers. He also expressed his expectation that the discussion would result in a clearly outlined roadmap for the comprehensive understanding and management of decommissioning procedures.
The meet featured speakers from various prominent organizations, including AERB, BARC, NPCIL, UCIL, and IREL. These speakers shared insights into both regulatory requirements and practical experiences related to decommissioning and site release. Topics covered included research reactors, tailings ponds, life management activities at Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs), and the decommissioning of various uranium and thorium processing facilities.
Discussions delved into national and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety requirements for decommissioning, as well as criteria followed by different countries for releasing sites from regulatory control post the termination of nuclear practices.