Former Secretary of AERB refutes death figures of BARC
Former Secretary of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) R Parthasarathy has said that the rate of cancer deaths amongst the employees of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is less than 6 % unlike the figure of 70 % claimed in certain media some reports. Quoting statistics obtained using RTI Act, there were certain media reports which said that there is a very high rate of cancer deaths amongst the employees of DAE. Parthasarthy said that the alleged death figures of 70 % of deaths being related to cancer is based on miscalculations.
The statistics had presented 255 suicides in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) which were refuted by Parthasarathy. He clarified that in response to the RTI application, the individual units of the DAE had sent the number of deaths due to various causes including suicides of DAE employees in service. Further, two units of DAE included even the number of employees undergoing treatment for different types of illnesses or ailments in 2014 while providing the figures of ‘deaths of employees’ resulting in incorrect inflation of figures. As per the revised figures, the suicide rate in DAE turns out to be about six per 100,000, which merely half of 11.4 in 100,000 noted by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
It has now been reported that the actual number of deaths of DAE employees in service during 1995 to 2014 is around 2,564 and this includes 69 cases of suicides unlike 3,887 deaths and 255 suicides reported earlier. Out of the above, Cancer was the cause of death in 152 out of the above 2,564 instances unlike 2,600 cancer deaths reported earlier. Parthasarthy did not rule out the possibility of an insignificant change in the statistics. He pointed to the size of the total staff the population of which has been more or less stable at over 60,000 during the period of past few years. Parthasarthy pointed to the grave potential danger to the nation’s nuclear energy programme which such incorrect reporting of figures can cause.
For earlier reports, please refer to:-
DAE clarification on the report regarding cancer deaths in Atomic Energy Hubs -
2,600 deaths due to cancer in 19 atomic energy centres during 20 years