B8.2.1 UK Polices and Controls

You do not need detailed knowledge of legislation for the exam.

Please note that due to the IEMA ending the course, this section is no longer being up-dated.


Radioactive Substances Act 1993

This Act sets out measures to regulate the use and disposal of radioactive substances including registration, authorisation, enforcement and offences. If an organisation wishes to use radioactive substances on their premises it must obtain permission from the Environment Agency.

The Act defines Radioactive Waste as:

“waste which consists wholly or partly of:

(a) a substance or article which, if it were not waste, would be radioactive material, or

(b) a substance or article which has been contaminated in the course of the production, keeping or use of radioactive material, or by contact with or proximity to other waste falling within paragraph (a) or this paragraph.”


Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

This is the main legislation covering the safety of workers and the general public at nuclear installations, in the UK.

Nuclear Installations Act 1965

This Act applies specific regulatory controls to nuclear plants. Under this Act, apart from certain exceptions, no site may be used for the purpose of installing or operating any nuclear installation unless the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have granted a licence.

High Activity Sealed Radioactive Sources and Orphan Sources Regulations 2005 [SI No. 2686]

These regulations specify how high-activity sealed radioactive sources should be registered, kept, used or disposed of. They also cover the detection, recovery and handing of radioactive sources that are not currently regulated (‘orphan sources’).

The Justification of Practices Involving Ionising Radiation Regulations 2004 [SI No. 1769]

These regulations state that no practice involving exposures to radiation should be adopted unless it produces sufficient benefit to the exposed individuals or to society to offset the radiation detriment it causes.

The Radioactive Material (Road Transport) Regulations 2002 [SI No. 1093]

These regulate all road transport of radioactive material.

Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 (REPPIR) [SI No. 2975]

These regulations aim to protect members of the public from emergencies that might arise from work with ionising radiations. They define a radiation emergency as an accident or event in which a member of the public receives an effective dose greater than 5 mSv within a period of 1 year.

The Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 [SI No. 3232]

The aim of these regulations is to ensure that that exposure to ionising radiation arising from work activities, whether man-made or natural, is kept as low as reasonably practicable and does not exceed specified dose limits for individuals.