Saturday 28 March 2020

Radioactive Waste Management in India, Meaning ,Definitions,types , notes List of Nuclear Plants in india


Radioactive Waste Management in India, Meaning  ,Definitions,types , notes List of Nuclear Plants in india
Radioactive waste management in India 


  • Radioactive waste management in India
  • Meaning of Radioactive Waste
  • Types of Radioactive Waste
  • Locations of Nucleur plants in India
  • Legal Framework in India 
  • Atomic Energy Act , 1962
  • Important Definitions
  • Powers of Central Government
  • Offenses and Punishment
  • Atomic Energy Regulatory Board
  • Conclusion

Radioactive Waste Management in India   

The era of 21st Century expanses the potentiality of nuclear energy. The powerful sovereigns have been conducting full fledged experiments on nuclear energy to escalate the defence system since a long time. Nuclear energy is also a potential source of energy which can balance up the deficit of high demand for energy. India is amongst the top world leaders who have successfully conducted nuclear the year 1998 in Pokhran, India conducted a series of Nuclear test. Later in the year 2005 India signed an Indo-US Nuclear deal with USA.
Nuclear energy is produced in Nuclear power plants.During the production of Nuclear Energy, it emits Radioactive Waste which can create hazardous side effect.

Radioactive wastes are those wastes which are emitted by nuclear fuel while carrying on the process of mining, generating and other operational processes in nuclear plants, defence and scientific research and other allied by-products nuclear fuel. Their are many harmful effects of the Radioactive waste to the environment as well to the mankind including genetic disorder, mass epidemic etc. The toxic gases which is released by a radioactive waste is very harmful moreover it can cause depletion of a pure environment. The results of radioactive wastes can be seen either instantly or after a long period of time.


Radioactive wastes can be categorized into three distinct parts on the basis of the radioactivity and the level of harm they cause. They are namely:

   1.  Exempt waste: Some radioactive wastes may be merely harmless even though they are called radioactive waste.  Man, and animal can co-exist with the exempt level of radioactive waste. This type of waste does not create any threat to Environment.

   2.  Low and intermediate waste: This category of Radioactive waste possesses a little quantum of radioactivity causing harm in meagre amount.  All the types of Radioactive Waste case some amount of pollution. Radioactive waste are again sub-divided as:

a.   Primary Waste: This type of waste contains radioactively contaminated equipment.

b.  Secondary Waste: It contains discards of operational processes like protective rubber and plastic wears, cellulosic and fibrous material, organic ion exchange resins filter cartridges and others.

   3.  High level waste: This category of waste arises from the liquid radioactive waste mostly generated during the reprocessing of spent fuel.

   1.  Tarapur in Maharashtra

   2.  Rawatbhata in Rajasthan

   3.  Kudankulam in Tamilnadu

   4.  Kaiga in Karnataka

   5.  Kakrapar in Gujrat

   6.  Kalpakkam in Tamilnadu

   7.  Narora in Uttar Pradesh


Radioactive waste is a rising concern with the emerging growth of nuclear energy since it is the fifth important source of energy in India. India is a welfare state as directed by the directive principles of state policy. Article 48(A) mentions," State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country." But at the same time India also want to strengthen the defence sector of the country. As a result, India has to take some balancing measure to solve the tussle between the two. For this purpose, the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 was brought and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board was constituted in 1983.


This act is an early measure to handle the adverse effects of radioactivity.

   1.  Applications of this Act:

a.   This Act is applicable to whole of India. [Sec1(2)]

b.  This Act also provides for Governing of Factories act, 1948. [Sec 23]

c.   The Atomic Act of 1962, is to be made effective notwithstanding anything inconsistent provided in other enactments. [Sec 28]

   2.  Important Definitions:

a.   Sec 2(1)(a) “atomic energy” means energy released from atomic nuclei as a result of any process, including the fission and fusion processes;

b.  Sec 2(1) (h) “radiation” means gamma rays, X-rays, and rays consisting of alpha particles, beta particles, neutrons, protons and other nuclear and sub-atomic particles, but not sound or radio-waves, or visible, infrared or ultraviolet light;

c.   Sec 2(1)(i) “radioactive substance” or “radioactive material” means any substance or material which spontaneously emits radiation in excess of the levels prescribed by notification by the Central Government.

   3.  Powers of Central government:

This Act confers many powers upon the Central government to regulate all the matters relating to nuclear energy and its ancillary matters.

a.   Sec 3 provides various rights such as production, development, use, and dispose of atomic energy. It also enjoys the right to manufacture or otherwise produce any radioactive substance. It confers right to buy or otherwise acquire, store and transport any prescribed or radioactive substance

b.  As per Sec 3(e), the central government can exercise right to ensure safe disposal of radioactive wastes.

   4.  Offenses and Punishment: 

Section 24 lays down the punishment provision for any violation or contraventions of any provisions of this Act.

a.   For contraventions of Sections 14, 17, 17(4), 18(2), a punishment for 5 years imprisonment or fine or both, is provided.

b.  a punishment for 1 year for contravention of sections (5-8) or any other provisions.


The Central Government of India in exercise of power conferred upon it by the sections 16, 17 and 23 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 constituted the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board in 1983.

a.   Constitution of AERB: This Board must be constituted with five members including a full time chairmen, an ex-officio member and three other part time member.

b.     Powers of AERB: It has all the powers to lay down the safety standards and frame rules and regulations about regulatory and safety requirements provided under the Act. The Chairman has been empowered to enforce radiation safety.


India is a rising power nation in the dominium of world politics. So, nuclear energy is an integral option in this aspect. However, India, being welfare state and also as a signee to various treaties on world environment, must have also to protect the natural environment. As a result India has to exercise great control over its nuclear policy as well as for fighting against radioactive waste.

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