- DesignationDirector (RPTSD)
- Director NamePrasad Mahakumara
- Fax Number011-253-3448
Emergency Preparedness and Radiation Monitoring
Emergency preparedness and radiation monitoring is a mandatory requirement to uphold the safe use of radioactive material. SLAEB operates as the leading technical and scientific authority to assist in responding to any radiation hazard in the country. Also, upgrading and maintaining the baseline radioactivity data of the country is done by the RPTSD.
Nuclear Disaster Early Warning System
Even though Sri Lanka does not have any nuclear facility, neighbouring countries such as India and Pakistan maintain several operational nuclear power plants (NPPs). These countries are also involved in nuclear weapon programs. NPPs are incredibly safe in normal operating conditions and virtually emission-free. However, in an unlikely emergency event like an accident or a nuclear weapon testing in a closeby region, small radioactive particles and fuel fragments can be released into the atmosphere. Such cases have been experienced in Chernobyl NPP accident (Russian Federation (present Ukraine), 1986), and the Fukushima-Daiichi NPP accident (Japan, 2011). These released particles can be blown into the country by wind and fall onto the earth with rain.
These falling-out radioactive particles can create radioactively contaminated areas, elevating the background radiation level. Such an area is known as a “hot spot.” It is important to immediately identify the occurrence of such cases to take remedial actions, ensuring the safety of people and environment.
This identification is being made through continuous measurements of the natural background radiation level using a network of high-sensitive, automatic area monitoring probes. The overall system is called the “National Nuclear Disaster Early Warning System” and in operation from 2012. It has been established as a joint venture of SLAEB with the Sri Lanka Navy and Disaster Management Center (DMC).
The system is currently equipped with 08 fully automated remote detector stations and is being expanded continuously. The existing detectors are established in Jaffna, Mannar, Puttalam, Trincomalee, Delft Island, Peradeniya, Colombo and Galle. Periodic data collected by the stations are sent to the central server/alarm station at the SLAEB headquarters. The system also functions as a long-term radiation monitoring network around the country. This system is one of the very few automatic monitoring systems in the Asia Pacific region, which provide realtime data to the International Radiation Monitoring Information System (IRMIS) located in
The RPTSD performs the maintenance, alarm assessment, and monitoring operations of the National Nuclear Disaster Early Warning System (NDEWS). Real-time radiation level data can be viewed from the official website
Technical Assistance and HR Development for an Event of a Radiation Accident
RPTSD operates as the leading professional assistance provider in the case of a radiation accident. Radiation accidents can occur in a radiation facility by an unexpected event such as fire, flooding, or misuse of material. Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Regulatory Council (SLAERC) is the national authority for radiological emergencies. SLAEB provides services to assess the effects of a radiation or nuclear emergency, ensuring the safety of the public, environment, and the security of the radioactive material
RPTSD also conducts training programs on emergency response and radiological assessments. The assessing teams for In-situ gamma spectroscopy, contamination monitoring, and radiation dosimetry are trained in collaboration with local universities and law enforcement agencies
Services on Radiation Measurements
RPTSD provides services to assess environmental radiation levels using In-situ Gamma spectroscopy, Radon monitoring, and ambient dose rate measurements. These measurements can be used to evaluate the radiation dose received by residents or workers in a dwelling or a facility. Description of each measurement service is as follows,
Certification of Performance
Services are also provided by the RPTSD to issue certificates of verification of performance for shielding material (leaded doors, leaded glasses and lead shields) used in medical, industrial, or research applications.
Baseline Environmental Monitoring Programme
As mentioned in the Nuclear Disaster Early Warning System section, SLAEB holds the responsibility of performing environmental measurements after a nuclear/radiation disaster and identify any contaminated areas with elevated radiation level. To complete this evaluation, the existing natural radiation level should be known. This natural radiation data serve as the reference/baseline of the radiation level in that respective area. Therefore, RPTSD conducts routine baseline environmental monitoring programs for