Revised Requirements for Radiological Protection: Emergency Preparedness and Response

Date published: 29 March 2018

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HSENI has launched a new consultation document containing proposals for The Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2018.

The consultation relates to implementation of Directive 2013/59/EURATOM laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation (BSSD). 

The BSSD lays down minimum radiation safety standards for three different exposure groups: medical patients, workers and members of the public. The requirements cover planned exposure situations (for example, nuclear medicine, nuclear power and other industrial activities that use radioactivity) as well as existing exposure situations (for example, the management of legacy radioactive contaminated land). The Directive also covers arrangements for responding to emergency exposure situations, ranging from accidents involving small individual sources to major nuclear emergencies, incorporating the lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident.

The Northern Ireland current legislative framework in relation to planning for radiological emergencies or accidents includes the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001 (REPPIR), the ionising Radiations Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 (IRR) and parts of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

REPPIR excludes those who transport radioactive material by road, rail, inland waterway, sea, air or pipeline. The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 (CDG) are the main Regulations governing the safe transport of radioactive materials in Northern Ireland, and include provisions in relation to planning for radiological emergencies or accidents that occur during such transport.

Other Government departments have been, in parallel, progressing work to implement the parts of the Directive for which they have policy responsibility. HSENI has already conducted a consultation on proposed changes to the Ionising Radiations Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 and the IRR have now been made.

The consultation document sets out the options identified by HSENI for implementing the obligations in the BSSD that relate to planning for radiological emergencies or incidents. It also separately sets out the options identified for implementing the obligations in the BSSD that relate to planning for nuclear or radiological emergencies or incidents that occur during the transport of radioactive materials.

Further details regarding the proposed Regulations are set out in the consultation document below.

https://www.hseni.gov.uk/reppir

The closing date for receipt of comments is no later than noon on 25 May 2018.

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