Bangladesh approves nuclear disaster response plan

The government has given the green light to a draft guideline on emergency responses to any nuclear or radioactive disaster.

Published : 16 Nov 2020, 11:47 AM
Updated : 16 Nov 2020, 11:48 AM

The National Nuclear and Radioactive Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan was approved at a virtual cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday.

The guideline was authorised to put safety measures in place for the Rooppur nuclear power plant, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said during a press briefing at the Secretariat.

“The International Atomic Energy Commission stipulates the availability of safety guidelines and response plans for such power plants, or else they will not allow us to run it. We have drafted it following the guideline structure from IAEA,” he said.

“The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief plays the key role in all sorts of disaster management in the country. The National Nuclear and Radioactive Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan was created in keeping with Bangladesh’s disaster management and such other plans.”

The cabinet secretary pointed out that authorities actually have little idea about dealing with nuclear power mishaps and emergency responses and the guideline would provide a way forward if such situations occur.

On how the guidelines would be put into effect, Islam said: “So far eight disasters have occurred in the world. Four in the US, one in Russia and another in Britain, while one took place during a tsunami in Japan.”

“They’ve recounted experiences from these and guided on how to face such situations with national and local infrastructures. We have armed forces and sufficient manpower for this who need to be trained.”

“The guideline will be focused primarily on handling nuclear and radioactive disasters in Bangladesh.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher