New Delhi, April 12
India’s nuclear installations are adequately secure and the safeguards observed are of international standards, thus being the same as those observed in the rest of the world by even the most developed countries.
Disclosing this here today in the Lok Sabha, Union Minister of State (MoS) PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India’s nuclear programme has always followed the two-fold basic Mantra, that is, “Safety First Production Next” and “Defence in Depth”. In other words, even before starting the operation of a nuclear plant, he said, all the safety mechanisms are in place and at the same time, all possible defence provisions are imbibed in-depth.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, broadly speaking, there are two aspects related to security of a nuclear power plant. First aspect is that of a possible external attack from a foreign enemy or a foreign power which is, by and large, the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence and Defence agencies as well as military and paramilitary forces. However, the second aspect is that of ensuring in-house safety against possible mishap or accident and this is taken care of by specialized agencies and teams within the Department of Atomic Energy in collaboration with other concerned agencies.
Responding to Members’ concern about the recently emerged phenomenon of possible threat of cyber attack or cyber intrusion, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has in place specialised groups out of which, two are exclusively devoted to look after cyber security of nuclear units.
These are CISAG (Computer & Information Security Advisory Board) and TAFICS (Task force for Instrumentation and control security), he said.
Assuring the Members of the House, Dr Jitendra Singh said, there are sufficient checks and balances in place and in no situation, any deviation is allowed from these features.
Even though, there is hardly any possibility of any untoward in-house incident, he said, but in case of any such eventuality, there is a mechanism for safe shutdown of the plant which may happen spontaneously. In addition, he said, there is also in place an “Emergency Preparedness and Response plan” to protect the public and at the same
time “Trained Emergency and Response Teams” with expert personnel who are always kept in readiness and from time to time, mock drills are also carried out to maintain high level of
preparedness and prompt response time.