The first step in regulating nuclear energy in any State includes assessing the present and future anticipated programs and plans concerning atomic techniques and materials [25
]. This is regardless of whether the country is adopting a brand new framework for a legislation, revising an existing one, or simply updating one or more aspects of its legislation [26
Scholars have identified several levels within the hierarchy of a nation which is going to build new nuclear power plants. The first, ordinarily held as the constitutional level, sets the primary legal and institutional framework to govern all relationships in the State [27
]. The statutory level is directly underneath the constitutional level, at which particular laws are passed by a parliament to place other imminent bodies and to foster the rules connecting to the wide range of activities concerning national interests [2
The third level includes very comprehensive regulations that are usually quite technical to regulate or control activities stipulated by the legal instruments [2
]. By reason of their distinctive character, the expert bodies (comprising bodies nominated as regulatory authorizations) usually state these rules. In addition, these bodies are authorized to look after specific domains subjected to national interest and promulgated through the national legal framework.
A fourth level comes with non-mandatory guidance instruments containing instructions meant to serve organizations and persons to meet the legal specifications [25
]. Based on which kind of nuclear ventures a nation chooses to sanction, the optimal use of the nuclear technology may require the employment of a wide array of laws initially associating with other subjects (for instance, industrial safety, environmental protection, mining, transport, administrative procedure, land use planning, electricity rate regulation and government ethics).
Usually, the discrepancies from the general structure of national legislation ought to be accepted only where the distinctive characteristic of an activity justifies the special treatment. Consequently, up to the degree that an activity deals with nuclear is modestly incorporated in other laws, it should not be necessary to issue new laws. Nevertheless, from the initial stage of its advancement, to make sure the proper management, nuclear energy has always been acknowledged to use special legal design. Bangladesh, thus far, has followed these levels to incorporate new regulatory structure particularly for fission technology. However, there are still some gaps, which need to be addressed soon to make a comprehensive nuclear regulatory regime. This paper attempts to find such gaps and recommend the Government of Bangladesh to take necessary regulatory steps to ensure the safe and secure nuclear energy production.
In the case of Bangladesh, the agency appointed to deal with assessment of safety and security of nuclear energy is Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) [28
]. This is a scientific research organization. Established in 1973, two years after the liberation war, its primary goal is promotion of using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and to maximize citizens’ export.
BAEC, subjected to the presidential order of 1973, enjoys the role of sole beneficiary owner of the NPP and thus is entrusted with our atomic regulation related aspects. Meanwhile, Bangladesh Nuclear Power Action Plan (BANPAP) (2000) and Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA) operate under the auspices of existing Nuclear Safety and Radiation Control (NSRC) Acts (1993 and 1997), and Bangladesh Atomic Energy Authority (BAEA) Act (2012) [29
The International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) safety standards, established under the prevailing domestic legislation frameworks, requires the organizations interested with operation of NPPs to liaise with an independent regulatory body [24
]. This law empowers the BAERA with the ability to a apprise safety and security related to atomic plants, protecting the personnel from radiation, authorization, transporting and managing waste materials, assessing and shielding raw material and liabilities for transportation, and overall operation of nuclear facilities throughout the country.
Regardless of which regulatory agency is vested with carrying out assessment criteria, be it from the government, a committee from the legislation body, or an independent expert panel, the actions of that regulatory agency should not constrict itself to the confines of present and expected programs in the immediate future [30
]. Instead, they should be versatile enough to contemplate and design programs which could surface and a somewhat more distant future keeping in mind the fluid and swiftly changing patterns of the global economy. As such, we argue that designing advance legislative guidance pertaining to operational parameters of atomic energy related actions and its concomitant regulations is a superior proactive strategy compared to the present patterns of reactive policies, even if that means that the present guidance is hastily drafted and requires revisions in the future. This is far better than abandoning guidance and leaving operations without any regulatory oversight. Previous precedents from nuclear disasters have shown that nuclear activities, even if carried out in good faith, run the risk of environmental, safety, health, security, and economic pitfalls.
Along these lines, the Bangladeshi government has viably figured out how to develop the definitive structure to erect a sustainable and responsible framework for NPP in general and to create, commission and work the country’s first nuclear power plant: the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. In line with this commitment, the BAER Act has quite recently been maintained with robust commitment from national specialists, IAEA and furthermore a well-reputed vendor country to set up an independent managerial body, the BAERA, to execute administrative obligations without undue obstacle from the bodies responsible for making, progressing or operational assignments of nuclear foundations [30
3.1. Assessment of Laws and the Regulatory Framework
Generally speaking, new atomic legislation should incorporate a complete appraisal of the status of all things considered and administrative courses of action significant to atomic energy [2
]. This undertaking may not be a direct one. In most national legislation frameworks, numerous arrangements not particularly coordinated towards atomic related activities can have a considerable effect on how such activities are directed. Notwithstanding broad environment laws, enactment concerning financial issues (e.g. tax collection, liabilities, administrative charges, financial punishments and the setting of energy and utilities rates), workers’ wellbeing and security, criminal enforcement, planning of land uses, worldwide customs and trade, scientific research, and many other related disciplines, may encroach on endeavors pertaining to atomic related activities [31
Bangladesh has repeatedly demonstrated her commitment and responsibility to anchor and advance human rights. Common and political rights are seen in the constitution as real rights. Article 11 of the Bangladesh Constitution communicates that the Republic will be a prominent government in which significant human rights and openings and respect for the pride and worth of the human individual will be ensured [32
]. Indeed, even money related, social and social rights are recognized and regarded by the Constitution of Bangladesh. The constitution arranges that it will be a key obligation of the State to achieve, through arranged financial development, a steady addition in helpful forces and an unwavering change in the material and social lifestyle of the overall public with a view to anchoring to its nationals the arrangements of the key necessities to life, including sustenance, protection, shelter, clothing needs, education and instruction, and human services [33
Along these lines, energy is inseparably associated with other basic human rights and in most of the cases a precondition to fulfill substitute rights. Reports such as the American Convention on Human Rights, the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development, the UN Declaration on the Right to Development, the Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment and others give state change and affirmation of various human rights through comprehensive access to energy.
Bangladesh is a nation host to countless conventions and in this manner is bound to fulfill each of the responsibilities constrained by them. Both the Fundamental Principles of State Policy and the Fundamental Rights’ parts of the Constitution of Bangladesh contain courses of action, which are overwhelmingly dependent on comprehensive and feasible access to energy. Article 15 of the constitution includes different rights major for the affirmation of the benefit to an adequate lifestyle, including access to agreeable sustenance, clothing, survival, and to the persistent change in living conditions. These rights are interrelated with the basic access to energy. That very article similarly empowers commitment on the State to ensure respectable work condition, which is unavoidable with genuine access to energy. In addition, Article 16 is based on common and country progression, while ceaseless access to energy is considered the best and most critical instrument to get positive changes in this domain.
The provision in Constitution of Bangladesh additionally ensures work with reasonable wage, right to standardized savings, and personal satisfaction. The established arrangements are made to ensure, advance and regard financial improvement as a constituent of human rights in Bangladesh. Be that as it may, the current context is prejudicial as half of rural populace has no access to power. Despite what might be expected, as indicated by the United Nation’s Least Developed Countries (LDC) Report 2017, 84% urban citizens get power but the rate is as yet unsuitable contrasted with the world average [34
In any case, the next few articles of Bangladesh Constitution again stress citizen’s rights to education, well-being and environmental security and conservation, which are not in the slightest degree achievable by the State if access to energy facilities is not ensured. Moreover, Article 31 ascribes the right to life as a major right, which doubtlessly incorporates right to employment. Nonetheless, right to life revered in Bangladesh Constitution fails to translate as right to breathe and live as a mere animal. Instead, it imputes great importance on life incorporating right to live with dignity, respect, and comfort, as attested by the Judiciary in Ain O Salish Kendra vs Bangladesh, 1999 BLD 488 case [35
In this manner, the privilege to have access to power can be translated as a sacred commitment of the State and enforceable by the court. Moreover, it is a protected commitment for the government of Bangladesh not exclusively to give sufficient quantity of energy to its citizens, but also to ensure the safe and secure production of the energy.
Along these lines, there is no extent of circumventing this duty by claiming falsely that there is no particular law on citizens’ rights to gain access to energy. Instead, if the full notion of the Bangladesh Constitution is considered, it becomes clear that the goal of the constitution is to slowly improve the standard of livelihood for the peoples of this Republic. To reiterate, the State component should look into the matter of all-inclusive access to current energy from a human right point of view to make it more comprehensive.
Moreover, it is additionally required to proceed with the issue with cautious and sincere insight for the improvement of the country and its long-term sustainable growth. From an economic point of view, considering the scarcity of resources, we should make present day energy authorities accessible in view of equality and non-segregation to the entire populace including those who are left behind by the society; the most underprivileged.
To understand the legal procedure relating to any aspect of a nation, it is very important to look into the country’s regulatory structure and hierarchy. Therefore, shows the structure and hierarchy of the laws in Bangladesh to construct a comprehensive regulatory idea about the nuclear energy for the country.