The cabinet on Monday approved a draft policy for radioactive waste management in view of their growing uses, obligating polluters to pay principal for efficient disposal of the highly hazardous squanders in a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
"The meeting has approved the draft of the National Policy on Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel Management-2019 in line with the guidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told a press briefing.
He said the draft policy intended to obligate the users of radioactive elements or polluters to take the main role for safe disposal of the hazardous wastes in line with the standard set by the IAEA.
The top bureaucrat, however, said the government intended to keep the use of atomic energy to minimal or logical level to minimize radioactive wastes.
Alam said an entity under Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) to be called Radioactive Waste Management Company (RWMC) would oversee the radioactive waste disposal process.
He said the policy would cover all areas relating to radioactive wastes like medical, scientific and energy sectors.
Alam, however, said the radioactive wastes to be produced from the under-construction Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Pabna would be brought back by its Russian operator in line with an agreement signed earlier.
The meeting was held at the PMO while the briefing was called at the cabinet division of Bangladesh Secretariat this afternoon when the cabinet simultaneously gave final nod to the drafts of the Bangladesh Engineering Research Council Act, 2019 and Bangladesh Lighthouse Act, 2019.
Describing Bangladesh Engineering Research Council Act, 2019 as a new law and new concept, the cabinet secretary said, "We had no institution for engineering research like that for agriculture and other sectors. It will promote engineering research as well as ensure the standard of technology for their pragmatic uses."
According to the law, a 10-member governing body headed by a chairman will run the council whereas it will have an advisory body headed by the Science and Technology Minister.
It also gave approval to the draft of the Bangladesh Lighthouse ACtl, 2019 brining few amendments to the existing the Lighthouse Act, 1927 to make it time-befitting, he also said.
The cabinet was appraised-off Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visits to the New York in the USA September 23 to September 28 and New Delhi in India from October 3 to 6.
During her first India visit after assuming office for the third consecutive term, the premier joined the Indian Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum and held bilateral talks with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
She also held meeting with President Shri Ram Nath Kovind, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Heng Swee Keat and Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
A total of seven memorandums of understandings (MoUs) were signed, three projects were jointly launched by the premier and her Indian counterpart in New Delhi.
During her eight-day New York visit, Sheikh Hasina attended the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
On the sidelines of the UNGA, she also held several bilateral meetings, including with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development Dutch Queen Maxima and Co-chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates.
She joined a number of high-level events on Universal Health Coverage, climate change adaptation, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), foreign relations, the Rohingya crisis, education and global drug problem.
The cabinet also greeted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for getting numbers of prestigious awards such as 'Tagore Peace Award 2018′ Unicef's "Champion of Skill Development for Youth" and Gavi's "Vaccine Hero" and Dr Kalam Smriti International Excellence Award-2019" for her outstanding contribution to various fields.
The cabinet also greeted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as she was placed in the list of longest serving eminent female leaders in the world.
It also adopted a thanksgiving motion congratulating Saima Wazed Hossain, chairperson of Bangladesh National Advisory Committee for Autism and Neuro-developmental Disorders, and daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, as she has been listed among 100 "Innovative Women Leaders in Global Mental Health.
Besides, the cabinet unanimously adopted a felicitation proposal for United Kingdom's Labour Party lawmaker and Sheikh Rehana's daughter Tulip Siddiq as she has been ranked on the most influential politicians' list in London this year.
The cabinet was also apprised of foreign visits made by ministers including Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan's visit to India from August 6 to 8.
During the visit, both the countries have agreed to conduct a joint survey over the unsettled issue of border demarcation at Muhurirchar in Feni district.
They also vowed to continue joint efforts to combat terrorism, militancy, smuggling, human trafficking and other trans-border crimes.