The mission of the AERB is to ensure the use of ionising radiation and nuclear energy in India does not cause undue risk to the health of people and the environment.

Fire Safety

Fire Safety aspects of Nuclear fuel cycle facilities like NFC, HWPs, UCIL facilities, exploration facilities (AMD), research centres such as VECC, RRCAT etc., Nuclear Power operating Plants & Projects by NPCIL and BHAVINI., other industrial plants of DAE, excluding BARC facilities are regulated by AERB.

Regulation of the facilities with respect to fire safety, is accomplished through periodic inspections of the facilities. Evaluation of fire safety is carried out by means of evaluation of the potential fire hazards for areas containing equipment important to safety throughout the plant, for the effect of postulated fires and explosions relative to maintaining the ability to perform safe-shutdown functions, and for minimizing radioactive releases to the environment.

AERB published standard for fire protection systems of nuclear facilities titled “Fire Protection Systems for Nuclear Facilities, Standard No. AERB/NF/SS/FPS (Rev. 1)” and regulates facilities under its purview as per the requirement mentioned in the standard.

The aim of the fire protection programme is to minimise the probability and consequences of postulated fires. Nuclear facilities use the concept of defence-in-depth to achieve the required high degree of safety. With respect to the fire protection programme also, the defence-in-depth principle shall be applied to achieve an adequate balance in: (a) preventing fire from starting, (b) detecting fires quickly, suppressing those fires which occur, putting them out quickly and limiting the damage, and (c) designing plant safety systems, so that a fire that starts in spite of prevention programme shall not prevent essential plant safety functions from being performed.

AERB classified Fire stations based on fire hazard potential, area of coverage besides functional requirement like operation of fire station and training/fire drills is as follows:

  • Class-I is two-crew station, i.e., a station with staff strength for two turnouts on round-the-clock operation.
  • Class-II is a single crew station, i.e. a station, which has staff strength for a single turn out for round the clock operation.
  • Class-III is nominal arrangement with skeleton staff strength with at least one fireman for round the clock operation. Minimum manpower for each case is also provided.

Fire Safety review starts at the plant design stage itself and carried through Siting , Construction, Commissioning and Operation phases. During the implementation stages, adequate emphasis is laid on the quality assurance of the fire prevention, installation of detection and suppression systems, to ensure that the programme’s objectives are fully and satisfactorily met. A detailed fire hazard analysis (FHA) is carried out during initial plant design and includes the proposed construction arrangements, materials and facilities having high fire hazard potential. This analysis is revised periodically as design and construction progresses and before and during major plant modifications. Fire detection system and alarm systems considered in designing stage and period surveillance of fire detection is monitored as per the AERB Fire Standard.

AERB collects fire safety statists from the DAE facilities under is purview. To promote fire safety Fire Safety Award is given by AERB to the facilities, based on their annual fire safety statistics.

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