New Delhi, 20 January 2012: The NDMA has been preparing for various kinds of emergencies like nuclear, accidents, radiological terrorism and illegal use of tactical nuclear weapons said Shri M. Shashidhar Reddy, Vice Chairman NDMA. Shri Reddy was delivering a talk on ‘Nuclear Disaster Management in India: Capabilities and Constraints”, hosted jointly by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and the Indian Pugwash Society on Friday.
Keeping in mind the above scenarios, the NDMA has constituted several Quick Response teams with trained personnel and improved medical preparedness, added Shri Reddy, pointing out that the guidelines for the up gradation of health facilities in districts with nuclear power plants have been provided. A number of committees at the state and district level have been set up, following the recommendations NDMA in the wake of Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, he said.
Speaking further, Shri Reddy said that the Indian public needs to be sensitised towards various nuclear, as well as, radiological emergencies that may arise, adding that the NDMA has learnt some valuable lessons after the Mayapuri incident reported in the national capital. He also commented on the industrial accidents in the nuclear power sectors, which amount to 0.04 per cent internationally.
The track record of the Department of Atomic Energy in India on issues of safety and security has been commendable. However, the Fukushima accident has offered India some valuable lessons for public safety, he reflected.
The NDMA is jointly working with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) on three level planning that includes 1.6 km Exclusion Zone, 5 km sterile zone and 16 km planning zone. He further added that the transparency regarding radiation leakage is paramount for addressing public concerns.
Post Fukushima, the NDMA is looking at enhanced preparedness. For successful mitigation of any nuclear emergency it is important for the district and state level authorities to work together in an efficient manner.
Earlier, chairing the talk, Dr Arvind Gupta, Director General, IDSA and convener of the Indian Pugwash Society, thanked the vice chairman for the reassuring presentation and expressed hope that the efforts of NDMA would go a long way in building confidence among the people.
Mr Reddy has been associated with NDMA since its inception in 2005. He constituted a Task Force comprising eminent experts, following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011 to apprise Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India’s capabilities to manage a similar disaster.
As a member of the NDMA, Shri Reddy has been responsible for the subjects like Cyclone, Urban Flooding, Risk Transfer, Micro-Finance etc.