Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has withdrawn the permission given to Delhi University to use any radioactive source in its labs as it failed to submit its final reply on the radiation exposure incident at Mayapuri scrap yard in Delhi within stipulated period, the Board said.
Rejecting the University’s plea to allow it to continue to use any radioactive source in its labs, AERB Chairman S.S. Bajaj told PTI that “Delhi University (DU) had sought more time from AERB but the Board’s Standing Committee, that reviews unusual occurrences at radiation facilities, has decided not to extend the time and withdrawn the authorisation to use radioactive source in its laboratories“.
Exposure to radioactive material Cobalt-60 in the scrap market in Mayapuri, in West Delhi, had led to the death of one person and injuries to ten others in Delhi in April this year.
Following the incident, AERB had suspended the use of radioactive source in the university labs and asked it to submit a reply to the Board on the incident.
The Delhi Police had traced the Cobalt-60 source to the Gamma Irradiator which the university had auctioned to a scrap dealer in Mayapuri in February.
“The Delhi University has appealed to us to remove the suspension order and allow them to use the radioactive sources for their research experiments. Although currently they have only small neutron sources and do not have any major radioactive source, the AERB Standing Committee has decided not to heed to their demand at present,” Bajaj said.
Asked whether any of the University staff will be punished under the Atomic Energy Act, Bajaj said, “at the moment we have not decided to punish any individual.”