Commission to investigate nuclear facility experiment

Thursday, May 10, 2012

BELGRADE -- The Ministry of Education and Science has formed a commission which will investigate an incident at the Nuclear Facilities of Serbia (NOS).

It will be tasked with determining whether employees were exposed to excessive radiation during an experiment conducted in Vinča, near Belgrade.

Mirjana Radenković, director of the State Agency for Protection from Ionizing Radiation, told Tanjug that the commission would go over the documentation and determine the circumstances surrounding the experiment carried out on April 19.

Radenković said the commission was formed because Serbia had no inspection for nuclear safety and radioactive waste management.

According to Radenković, the commission will determine whether procedure was followed and whether NOS workers were put in danger.

Istvan Bikit, chairman of the agency's management board, told Radio Television of Serbia that the commission would carry out a check in the NOS and present a report to the agency within the next few days.

Bikit said there was a series of instructions for conducting experiments, noting that regulations in Serbia were mostly in line with international ones, but the agency lacked a supervisory function.

Jagoš Raičević, acting director of the NOS, told Tanjug earlier that the company did not require the agency's approval to conduct the experiment in Vinča.

He said it was a routine operation and the NOS had the necessary paperwork.

The agency for protection from ionizing radiation said earlier that it would investigate whether there was cause to strip the NOS of its license.

In late April, media reported that Snežana Pavlović, director of the Sector for Radiation Safety, sent a letter to ministers Ivica Dačić, Oliver Dulić and Žarko Obradović in which she claimed that NOS workers had been exposed to radiation far exceeding allowed limits during the experiment in Vinča.

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