Meghalaya : Uranium tank radiation level returns to normalcy; claims NEHU experts

According to recent studies by the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), the radiation levels of the uranium ores at Nongbah Jynrin in Meghalaya’s South West Khasi Hills district, is under the safety levels.

The government has decided to do a separate study on the rocks and sediments of the stream – Phud Syngkai – to analyze them at a credible laboratory to make out the actual cause of the radiation.

To study the leakages of tanks an expert panel was decided to be placed by the Meghalaya government on October 16, 2020.

Relating to radiation hazard at Nongbah Jynrin, Wahkaji, South West Khasi Hills district, the Government of Meghalaya asked NEHU to help the State government through a third-party investigation, to find about the radiation levels in the area.

A government communiqué issued on Thursday evening said, “A six-member team under the chairmanship of B. Myrboh, Department of Chemistry, NEHU visited the site on November 10, 2020. The report of the NEHU expert committee was received by the State Government on December 17, 2020. An interactive session on the report was held on January 20 under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary”.

Quoting the report, the government said, “The NEHU expert committee revealed that the radiation levels at the source (i.e. tanks and pits) and villages/habitations nearby as per the millisievert/year unit of measurement using the Radiation Survey Meter are well within the safety levels.”

The levels of radiation are higher at 100 feet away from the source in the rivulet Phud Syngkai.

“It is therefore decided that the Government of Meghalaya will undertake a separate study on the rocks and sediments of the stream Phud Syngkai and gets them analyzed at a credible laboratory to determine the exact cause of the radiation,” the statement said.

The Centre and the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) had proposed to mine uranium from the Kylleng-Pyndengsohïong-Mawthabah area in South West Khasi Hills district, but were opposed by the KSU.

Meghalaya has an estimated 9.22 million tons of uranium ore deposits.