Monday, 20 February 2017

New Atomic Energy Bill expected to improve safety measures

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) hopes that the Atomic Energy Bill that will be replacing the Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984 (Act 304) could be finalised this year.

The Bill would have a better scope for radiation safety, security of radioactive and nuclear materials as well as safeguard nuclear materials mainly for industrial use.

AELB chief director Hamrah Mohd Ali said they have been doing research on the amendment since 2011 after taking into account several factors, including atomic energy control as well as safety aspects for workers who are dealing with it, both public and environmental.

He said AELB had previously conducted a comprehensive and detailed legislative research for the amendments before submitting it to the Attorney General (AG) for further action and finalisation.

“As the act (Act 304) has been used for the past 35 years, it is timely for us to make amendments in line with the current developments and International standards on this.

“For this matter, we have also discussed with our stakeholders before sending in the drafts to the AG,” he said.

He said this after a memorandum of understanding ceremony between AELB and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) at UTM here recently.

He said that AELB is a regulatory body that is responsible for ensuring safety, security and safeguarding of nuclear activities in Malaysia.

“We are also responsible for acquiring, disseminating and providing information to enhance safety and security awareness among the public on nuclear activities around them,” he added.

He said that awareness was vital as the usage of such technology was increasing, where as of now, they have at least 2,000 active AELB licence holders in various industries including oil and gas, manufacturing, research and electronics.

Meanwhile, UTM deputy vice-chancellor (Development) Prof Dr Azlan Abdul Rahman said the collaboration was among their efforts to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies in Malaysia.

“It is also to encourage and promote cooperation in educational and research activities in the area of nuclear and radiation safety, security of radioactive and nuclear materials and safeguarding of nuclear materials along with other disciplines.

“The collaboration also covers the field of teaching and learning, joint research, seminars, publications, exchange of information, student placement for industrial training and also staff exchange for post-doctoral programmes,” he said.