Committee report states radiation at Jimiri River high, recommends monitoring

Shillong, Nov 9: The Assembly Committee on Environment in its findings – following a study tour – reported that the natural radiation level at Jimiri River was ‘comparatively higher’ at 4.5 millisieverts per year.  

The Global background radiation level is 2.4 mSv/yr (Ref: IAEA Bulletin 4/1993) and the permission limit for the general public is 1mSv/yr in addition to the background level radiation. (IAEA safety Guide No.RS-g-1.1), the committee’s report placed at the assembly reads.

The Committee has therefore recommended that uranium content in the river should be regularly monitored since surface water is the main source of drinking water for the Villages adjoining Domiasiat.

It added that there is a necessity to continue monitoring of the radiation level in the
villages adjoining to Domiasiat and recommended it be carried out by Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board in collaboration with Central Pollution Control Board.

According to the report, the radiation level at Nongbah Jynrin Village is 1.8 mSv/yr, approximately 150 km from the village is 1.2 mSv/yr and 1 km from the village is at 0.9 mSv/yr.

In its report, the committee stated that they had deputed ‘some person equipped with drone and camera to proceed to the site at Domiasiat along with AMD personnel to monitor the radiation level in the area’ on November 3, 2020 and the radiation level was recorded by scientists of the Atomic Minerals Directorate.

“Considering the varying radiation in an around the area, the committee recommends that health survey may need to be conducted to ascertain the health condition of people residing in the area and the report may be submitted to the Assembly By Health Department,” the report read.

The committee also recommended that the location of the abandoned three numbers of uranium test mine pits and the three repository tanks should be declared as protected/restricted area where only authorized personnel can be allowed access.

Further, it recommended opening a police outpost in Wahkaji and engaging an independent agency or organization having expertise at its disposal to conduct a study on the radiation level in the villages surrounding Domiasiat including Uranium Content in surface water of all water bodies flowing in the area.