In order to convert the functional independence of our national nuclear regulator, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), into de jure independence, the proposal for setting up a Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA) has been under consideration. Accordingly, Government had introduced the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill, 2011 in the Lok Sabha in September 2011, which was subsequently referred to the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests. The amendments proposed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee were incorporated in the Bill in the year 2013. The Bill, however, could not be taken up for consideration before the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha. A fresh Bill similar to the one introduced earlier, is under examination.
Government is fully conscious of the importance of the role of regulator for promotion of safe use of nuclear and radiation technology. While the process of setting up of NSRA is underway, it may be noted that as the national nuclear regulator, AERB is fully competent and geared to meet the requirements of enforcing safety standards and regulations of the functioning of nuclear power plants in the country. AERB is functionally independent from the Government and the facilities it regulates, and has adequate powers with respect to its mandate of enforcing safety regulation of nuclear and radiation facilities.
This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.