|Radiation Levels Around Nuclear Power Projects|
Radiation dose levels around nuclear power plants are negligibly higher than those arising out of natural background radiation. The average radiation dose received by an individual from natural background is 2400 micro-Sievert per year. The radiation levels at Indian nuclear power plant sites are higher from the average natural background level yielding a additional radiation dose of 1 to 25 micro-Sievert per year at a plant boundary. Therefore, there are no ill effects of radiation around nuclear power plants. Epidemiological surveys for health assessment in respect of employees working in close proximity to radiation and their families at each of the operating nuclear power plants have been carried out. Nearby villages have been covered in the studies to the extent of employees and their families residing there. The studies were carried out by reputed local medical colleges in association with Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), Mumbai, a premier cancer research centre in the country. These studies comprised filling a questionnaire with respect to demographic, medical data and other relevant details, and carrying out a medical examination. The primary emphasis of these studies was on prevalence of cancer and congenital anomalies (birth defects) among the employees and their families. The studies have been conducted at all the operating nuclear power plants located at the six sites across the country as per the following details:-
Epidemiological studies were also conducted for the villagers living in the vicinity of nuclear power plant sites at Kaiga, Kakrapar and Kudankulam before start of operation of these plants. These form the baseline for comparison with studies at a later date.
The studies have established that there has not been any rise in cancer morbidity, birth defects or any other ailments amongst the employees, who are at work or live in close proximity of nuclear power plants, in comparison to the national average. In addition, the medical examination of occupational workers at each of the operating nuclear power plant is carried out every year in accordance with regulatory requirement prescribed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). The scientific data of these annual medical examinations collated and analysed by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) during 1995 to 2010 (16 years) establishes that the cancer prevalence among the employees is lower, at 54.05 per lakh, compared to national prevalence of 98.05 per lakh.
The above information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions and in the Prime Minister’s Office, Shri V. Narayanasamy in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.