Atomic Energy Act provides for the development, control and use of atomic energy for the welfare of the people of India and for other peaceful uses and for matters connected with. It provides the basic regulatory framework for all activities related to atomic energy programme and use of ionising radiation in India. Of the 32 sections of the Atomic Energy Act those related to safety are Sections 3 (e) (i), (ii) and (iii), 16, 17 and 23.
Pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) designated by the Central Government, is the Competent Authority as the Regulatory Body for granting, renewal, withdrawal and revocation of consents for Nuclear and Radiation Facilities. The Regulatory Body also exercises control over nuclear installations and the use of radioactive substances and radiation generating plants outside such installations.
Section 16 and 17 of the Atomic Energy Act refers to control over radioactive substance and special provisions for safety. Section 23 empowers the Regulatory Body with administration of Factories Act 1948, including enforcement of its provisions, appointment of inspection staff and making of rules in the installations of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
AERB is also empowered to perform the functions under sections 10(1) (powers of entry) and 11(1) (powers to take samples) of Environmental Protection Act, 1986 and Rule 12 (agency to which information on excess discharge of pollutants to be given) of the Environmental Protection (Amendment)Rules, 1987 with respect to radioactive substances.
Section 52 of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 states that in relation to the radioactive air pollution the provisions of Atomic Energy Act will apply.