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Working with Ionising Radiation: New Notification Process and Regulations

New Ionising Radiation Regulations 2017 (IRR17) will come into force January 1st, 2018 and will replace the existing legislation (IRR99). This is a result of the new EU Basic Safety Standards Directive (BBSD) for radiological protection being implemented.

One of the most significant changes is how employers notify HSE about their work with ionising radiation.

Under the current legislation you have to notify HSE about your work but under the new regulations employers will have to apply depending on the level of risk of your work. You will need to apply even if you have notified HSE previously that you work with ionising radiation and this must be done by 5th February 2018.

A new HSE online service allows you to complete all the steps at the same time and it will apply for all sites that are under your control. You only need to apply once for multiple sites.

There is a fee of £25 for registration and another £25 for each consent (if you need more than one).

Once you have notified the HSE you will not need to apply again unless the information that you have provided significantly changes.

What you apply for depends on the level of risk of the work you do. This is known as the ‘graded approach’.  There are 3 levels to this new grading system. They are as follows:

 

Notify – lowest risk

Applies to:

 

  • Work with under 1000kg of artificial or naturally occurring radionuclides that is between the low and medium end of specific concentration levels or above the specific quantity levels
  • Work in a radon atmosphere above an annual average of 300Bq m-3

 

Register – medium risk

Applies to:

 

  • Radiation generators, such as X-ray devices, that are not a specific practice requiring consent.
  • 1000kg or over of artificial or naturally occurring radionuclides that is above the low end of specific concentration levels
  • under 1000kg of artificial or naturally occurring radionuclides that is above the medium end of specific concentration levels

 

Consent – highest risk

Applies to:

 

  • deliberate administration of radioactive substances for specific medical or veterinary purposes
  • uranium mining
  • deliberate addition of radioactive substances into products
  • operation of an accelerator (except an electron microscope)
  • industrial irradiation
  • industrial radiography
  • long –term storage or disposal of radioactive waste
  • discharge of significant amounts of radioactive effluent

 

if your work is not listed above then you may not need to notify, register or get consent from HSE. You do not need to submit work you do with:

 

  • artificial or naturally occurring radionuclides that is at the very low end of specific concentration levels or below specific quantity levels
  • sealed sources that are type approved by HSE and below low dose rates
  • electrical apparatus that is type approves by HSE and below low dose rates
  • any cathode ray tube or other device operating at a voltage at 30kV or below, and below low dose rates
  • contaminated material that the appropriate environment agency has declared not to be subject to further control.

 

More information can be found on HSE website