Nuclear safety expert Krishnamoorthy passes away


He was 82.

Krishnamoorthy, popularly known as 'PNK'  breathed his last here on November 16.

A close associate of Dr Homi Bhabha, Krishnamoorthy served the Board with distinction during its formative years and contributed significantly in establishing robust and well laid out procedures to assist the nascent organisation in its decision making process.

The senior scientist organised a complete survey of the protective measures in place in Indian medical institutions and submitted paper at the Second UN Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, Geneva in 1958. Effective follow up measures led to significant reduction of radiation doses to workers in those institutions.

"While serving as a Consultant to the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA), Krishnamoorthy, co-authored  the Health Physics Addendum (July 1960) with  G J Appleton of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority. This was the first Addendum to the Manual on Safe Handling of Radioisotopes, the first operational safety standard issued by the IAEA," Dr K S Parthasarathy, Former Secretary of AERB said.

When Dr Homi Bhabha set up the Directorate of Radiation Protection in 1963 to educate and train the non DAE (Department of Atomic Energy) personnel handling radiation sources and radioactive materials and to provide an effective radiation protection programme, Krishnamoorthy was the natural choice to lead this programme, he said.

"PNK applied his administrative acumen and organisational skill to establish a nation-wide radiological protection programme. He diligently implemented various elements of the programme including provision of personnel monitoring services, procedures to approve site plans and to license users of radiation sources and equipment apart from preparation of safety standards and organisation of training programmes," he said.

The Radiation Protection Rules 1971 drafted under his supervision was the first piece of subordinate legislation under Atomic Energy Act 1962. It reigned supreme till it was replaced by Atomic Energy (Radiation Protection) Rules, 2004.

"When Central Government set up the AERB in 1983, Krishnamoorthy’s help to put in place a fairly well organized safety frame work in the form of DRP to enforce safety requirements in radiation installations outside the DAE and more importantly, he himself joined the Board as its Member Secretary," Parthasarathy said.

Also, PNK was instrumental in bringing the first batch of officers who formed the core group to jumpstart the regulatory activities of AERB in non-DAE installations.

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