Today, 1st September 2018, is an exciting new period for the regulation of Radioactive Substances in Scotland.
The Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018, EA(S)R18, have been made by the Scottish Government under the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 and come into force today.
EA(S)R18 replaces the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 (and its numerous amendments including Radioactive Substances Exemption (Scotland) Order 2011, Radioactive Substances (Basic Safety Standards) (Scotland) Regulations 2000, High Activity Sealed Sources and Orphan Sources Regulations 2005) for all work with radioactive substances on shore in Scotland.
EA(S)R18 provides a new framework for the authorisation of regulated environmental activities in Scotland, which will eventually include all Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC), Water, Waste and Radioactive Substances activities. The first regime brought in under EA(S)R18 is the Radioactive Substances activities.
Schedule 8 (Radioactive Substances, covering activities involving radioactive material and/or radioactive waste) and Schedule 9 (General Binding Rules) transposes the requirements of the European Council Basic Safety Standards Directive (2013/59/Euratom) in regards to safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation in regards to the public exposure and environmental aspects.
EA(S)R18 brings into effect a new graded system for authorisations with four tiers:
- General Binding Rules (replacing existing exemptions and covering specific low risk activities);
- Notifications (covering low risk activities were SEPA need to be notified of the of the activity);
- Registrations (these cover activities which require an application to be made to SEPA for a simple assessment and will be granted using standard conditions); and
- Permits (used for higher risk and/or non-standard activities which require an application to be made to SEPA and a detailed assessment to be made).
For all registration and permit applications, SEPA will assess if the applicant is fit and proper including for some authorisations additional specific requirements (e.g. any activity involving a high-activity sealed source (HASS) requires financial provision and any activity involving the management of radioactive waste requires appointment of a Radioactive Waste Adviser (RWA)).
EA(S)R18 states that a registration or authorisation granted under RSA93 is deemed to be an authorisation under the new regulations and will most likely become a permit or potentially a registration. Transition arrangements are in place until March 2019.
If you require any advice on the various aspects of the new Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 then please get in touch.