India’s atomic scientists must pass psychological tests for jobs

July 30th, 2010 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, July 30 (IANS) The department of atomic energy (DAE) has made it mandatory for all job aspirants to pass psychological test before being hired by any of the units under it, a senior official Friday said.
Queried about the increasing incidents of suicides among the nuclear scientists/ technologists, Atomic Energy Secretary and Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chairman Srikumar Banerjee told reporters: “As per our investigation, no employee committed suicide due to pressures at work place. The suicides are due to personal reasons.”

According to him, only few young and who are intellectually active below 30 years of age tend to show some signs of suicidal tendencies.

“Now we have made it mandatory for job candidates to take a psychological test and only those who pass that test are hired and others are rejected,” Banerjee said.

Refusing to talk about the differences between India and Russia on equipment suppliers’ liability in case of accidents delaying the signing of further import of reactors, Banerjee said the first of the 2×1000 MW nuclear power reactors at Kudankulam around 600 km from here is expected to go on stream later this year.

Banerjee said the plant load factor (PLF) or power generation capacity of NPCIL’s nuclear power plants is expected to touch 70 percent this year using imported uranium.

“We have the imported uranium for atomic power plants under international safeguards. Domestic uranium will be used for powering other plants,” he said.

According to him production of domestic uranium is expected to go up when mining at Tummalapalli mine in the Cuddapah district of Andhra Pradesh begins soon.

He said the uranium reserve there is estimated at around 45,000 tonnes and production will be done using alkaline leaching as against the current acid leaching process.

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