Radiation Protection

Radiation Protection in Europe

Radiation Protection directives

The Euratom/European Union Basic Safety Standards Directive 2013 (BSSD) sets out updated safety requirements for the nuclear and radiological sector; the deadline for transposition of these into european member´s law is 6 February 2018.

The implementation of the EU Basic Safety Standards Directive (BSSD) means the following main changes:

  • Dose Limit for exposure to the lens of the eye and implementation of the Directive – the Directive introduces a reduction of equivalent dose from 150 mSv to 20 mSv in a year. Before, in some Member States (such as the UK), exposure to ionising radiation is calculated and assessed on a calendar year basis, this would require individual dose limits to be re-calculated for the remainder of the year.
  • Graded Approach – introduction of a new three tiered risk-based system of regulatory control. The Directive refers to these levels as notification, registration, and licensing – the higher the radiation protection risk associated with the work, the greater the requirements. It requires the Member State authorities to have in place a positive system of authorisation whereby permission is granted to dutyholders for higher risk activities through registration and licensing.

Radiation Protection in the UK

While the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is responsible for coordinating the transposition of the Directive across Government, there are five workstreams to the Directive: emergency preparedness and response, medical exposures, public exposures, occupational exposures, and air and space crew where we need to ensure we are compliant.

The emergency preparedness and response and public exposures requirements of BSSD are led by BEIS and occupational exposure requirements are led by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Both BEIS and HSE have worked closely with other departments to ensure we have a common and fully aligned approach to the regulatory framework in the UK for the civil and non-nuclear sector.

The intention is to use as appropriate the powers in the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Energy Act 2012 to make the required legislative changes within the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations (REPPIR) 2001 and the Carriage of Dangerous Goods Regulations (CDG) 2009 and the Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999 (IRR99).

HSE have now consulted on occupational exposures policy and are finalising the proposed changes to the IRRs; BEIS will be launching a consultation on emergency preparedness and response policy with suggested changes to REPPIR & CDG. BEIS are also planning to launch a consultation on the public exposures elements of the Directive.

The other workstreams are led by different Government departments, with medical exposures being led by the Department for Health and air and space crew by the Department for Transport.

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