Malaysia

Nuclear regulator keeps mum on reliability of monitoring system

Noor Hasnah said it was still too early to know if the data obtained is reliable. — File picNoor Hasnah said it was still too early to know if the data obtained is reliable. — File picDENGKIL, March 29 — The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) today refused to comment on the accuracy of its Environmental Radiology Monitory System (ERMS) following data discrepancies spotted on its website.

The data, obtained by the ERMS, is part of AELB’s operation to monitor background radiation and to detect any sudden spikes in radioactivity.

AELB’s monitoring station in Lahad, Perak recorded a consistent daily reading of 0.04 microserviet per hour (μSv/h) in February but it registered an average of 0.2μSv/h by the end of the month, raising questions on the reliability of the system.

Special advisor to the AELB director-general Noor Hasnah Khairullah today refused to comment on the reliability of the particular station, saying it has been operational for less than a year.

She explained it was still too early to determine if there had been anomalies in the data obtained.

“It only started operation in July last year. It is not even a year now. So in this one year’s period, we will always be checking the data,” she said at the agency’s weekly media briefing.

She pointed out 0.5μSv/h is considered as “emergency” level of radiation and that AELB will take necessary action when required.

“So far, it is normal, so there is nothing to worry about.”

Noor Hasnah also dismissed radiation data discrepancies spotted on their official website as “normal geological movement of water and weather”.

“When we count the background radiation, there is always fluctuation. It is just a normal geological movement of water and weather,” she said.

“We will monitor it for the next few months. If there is noticeable change, we will investigate.”

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