Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) was founded in February 1973 through the promulgation of Presidential Order 15 of 1973 with the objective of promoting peaceful applications of nuclear energy in Bangladesh. Since then, BAEC has been continuing its contribution to the socio-economic development of Bangladesh with the spirit of Prosperous Digital Bangladesh Concepts introduced by the government and by this time emerged as the largest organization for scientific and technological research especially in the field of nuclear energy in this country. The essentially goal-oriented research & development (R & D) programs in physical, biological and engineering sciences and nuclear power field have been undertaken in the light of the overall need of the country so that the outcome of the activities can be directly applied for socio-economic betterment in food & agriculture, industry, power, health or medicine, resource assessment and environmental protection.
Programs are chosen in a manner so that the priority, aspiration and needs of the country are amply reflected in their execution. Notable services of BAEC include modern nuclear medicine services to mass people, specially to the poorest section of the society, protection of public health and the environment through radioactivity monitoring of all imported food items, practice of safety culture against all kinds of radiation hazards, sterilization of medicine and medical equipment, food preservation, development of high quality polymer materials, chemical analysis of industrial products for QC purposes, chemical analysis of food and environmental samples for protection against pollution, industrial NDT and material testing services etc. In the last few years, the BAEC has undertaken the challenge of implementing the Rooppur Nuclear Power Project (RNPP) as one of its priority task.
The BAEC’s R & D programs are executed through its different institutes, centres and laboratories equipped with state-of the-art facilities and installation. The major facilities include 3 MW TRIGA Mark II Research Reactor, 3MV Tendem Accelerator Facility, 3MV Van de Graff Accelerator, Two Co-60 gamma irradiator, Central Radioactive Waste Processing and Storage Facilities, nuclear medicine and scanning devices installed in National Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (NINMAS) and 14 INMAS’s distributed at different district headquarters, Radioisotope Production Laboratory, Radioactivity Testing and Monitoring Laboratory, Beach Sand Minerals Processing Pilot Plant etc.
Apart from R & D activities, the following divisions of BAEC are playing vital role in executing various programs undertaken by BAEC.
International Affairs Division (IAD): This division is playing a key role for maintaining focused liaison with many foreign countries and international organizations particularly International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with a view of transferring the technology and development of human resources in the field of nuclear technology. This division is also in constant communication with IAEA in order to fulfil the country’s obligation in matters related to Nuclear Safeguards and Non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. It also maintains liaison with other international bodies like RCA, FNCA etc.
Scientific Information Division: This division is responsible for focusing the activities of the Commission through the mass media (Radio, Television and Newspapers), publishing various Reports, Scientific Journals, Newsletters etc., Selection, Collection, Processing and Dissemination of information in the field of scientific research and technological development in the areas of Nuclear Science & Technology.
R & D activities conducted during the period from July 2012 to June 2013 in the various fields of nuclear science & technology are described in the next page.
The objectives of this Division are (a) to operate and maintain the 3 MV Van de Graaff Accelerator and its associated auxiliary systems (b) to develop ion beam experimental facilities (c) to utilize the accelerator ion beam for research and development works in the field of health, environment, agriculture, industry, etc. (d) to provide accelerator beam time to other users for research and service purposes and (e) to do research, training and service for quality cancer care an Institute of Nuclear Medical Physics (INMP) will be established.
Accelerator Facilities Division of the Atomic Energy Centre, Dhaka operates and maintains the 3 MV Van de Graaff Accelerator and its associated auxiliary systems, which is capable of accelerating proton, deuteron and alpha particles with beam currents in the range of nano-to micro-amperes. Besides this, this division has been initiated to establish a research institute under the ADP project entitled as “Institute of Nuclear Medical Physics (INMP) at AECD”. The researchers of various groups are utilizing the Van de Graaff Accelerator widely for doing research for elemental analysis of environmental, health, biological, agricultural and industrial samples with various IBA techniques including Proton Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and Proton Induced Gamma Emission (PIGE).
1.3 Research and Development Work
1.3.1 Operation and maintenance of the 3 MV Van de Graaff accelerator
The right beam port alignment has been done successfully and the vacuum leakage of the left beam port has repaired. Routine calibration of data acquisition system and routine maintenance of the system has been done effectively. Now the accelerator is in operation. According to the user’s demands, the accelerator has been operated to produce and accelerate the proton beam for sample irradiation.
This research work will provide the quantitative information regarding the elemental composition of the environmental ingredients and also the radiological environmental data. Thirty number of different soil samples are collected from selected areas, prepared as pellets and the experiments have been done using IBA techniques PIXE and PIGE. The analysis is in progress by suitable statistical methods and software GUPIX and MAESTRO-32. A PhD thesis will be submitted under this program.
1.3.3 Analysis of elemental profile and pollution level determination of soil of some shore areas using PIGE and PIXE techniques
The objective of the research work is to develop a methodology using the PIXE and PIGE techniques for the identification of the pollutant in some shore areas of Bangladesh and to find the exact quantification of essential and toxic elements of soil and to provide sufficient information to evaluate its impact on human health and environment. The sampling sites have been selected and 10 samples are collected, preparation is in progress for pellet making. The experiments will be done by accelerator proton beam and data acquisition will be done using IBA techniques PIXE and PIGE. A PhD thesis will be submitted under this program to the department of Physics, Jahangirnagar University.
1.3.4 Study of the effects of industrial pollutants using ion beam analytical techniques
The objective of this research work is to find the exact quantification of essential and toxic elements of soil and vegetables of some industrial polluted areas and to provide sufficient information to evaluate its impact on human health and environment. Average elemental concentration levels of Al, Si, K , Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn , Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Br, Rb, Sr, and Pb were found to be 5023, 358, 5538, 4917, 2280, 1672, 407, 29073, 46, 47, 32, 83, 9, 6, 177, 125, 158 and 35 ppm, respectively. A PhD thesis has been submitted under this research program and degree awarded at August 2012.
The main objective of the research work is to explore and identify the elements present in medicinal plants. To estimate the concentration of trace elements in those plants or parts of those plants are commonly considered as useful and efficient for various therapeutic purposes. Average elemental concentrations for K, Ca, Sc, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn Ni, Sb, La and Ce have been found to be 28369, 54008, 150, 1260, 1078, 427, 104, 445, 130, 29 and 252 mg/kg respectively. An M.Sc. Thesis has been submitted under this research work and degree awarded at June 2013.
1.3.6Study of elemental profile of some fishes of Islampur, Savar
The objective of this research work is to find the exact quantification of essential and any type of toxicity in fishes of Islampur, Savar area and to provide sufficient information to evaluate its impact on human health and environment. Average elemental concentration for Na, Mg, Al, K, Ca, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Se, Br, Rb, Sr, Cd, I, Pb 10.25, 9.87, 9.97, 48.38, 228.21, 1.02, 6.25, 41.09, 155.86, 4.67, 102.03, 7.46, 60.09, 10.1, 91.6, 0.19, 3.2 and 0.012 (mg/kg) respectively. An M.Sc. Thesis has been submitted under this research program and the degree awarded at June 2013.