Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Regulation of radioactive substances in Scotland

Regulation of radioactive substances in Scotland

If you carry out a radioactive substances activity in Scotland you will require an authorisation.

Radioactive substances activities are activities that involve:

  • Radioactive material and or
  • Radioactive waste

Your authorisation will cover all activities you carry out with radioactive substances, from their production and use through to the management of radioactive waste.

There are four types of authorisation; each one dealing with radioactive substances that have different levels of risk. The four types of authorisation are:

  • General Binding Rules (GBRs)
  • Notifications
  • Registrations
  • Permits

General Binding Rules

General Binding Rules apply to a number of low risk activities. If you carry out these activities you must follow the GBRs that correspond to that activity. There is no need to contact SEPA or to apply for a registration or permit. If you comply with the GBRs then you are authorised to carry out that activity.

You can find a full list of the activities and the corresponding GBRs in Schedule 9 of the Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 (EASR)

Column 1 lists the activities covered by GBRs. Column 2 lists the conditions that must be followed.

Legislation.gov.uk: EASR Schedule 9

Notification

A notification is used for low risk activities where, although they may covered by GBRs, SEPA needs to know that the activity is being carried out. This may be because you need to make special arrangements to dispose of the radioactive waste rather than being able to dispose of it in the dustbin with ordinary refuse. For example, if you keep and use Category 5 sources that cannot be disposed of to the dustbin you must notify SEPA.

Examples of activities that require a notification are available on the SEPA website.

SEPA: Authorisations guide for radioactive substances activities

Notification forms are available on the SEPA website

SEPA: Notification application form

Registrations

A Registration is required when the proposed activities involve radioactive materials or levels of activity that are not covered by GBRs or notifications. They are used when the assessment of whether or not the activity can be permitted is a straightforward decision for SEPA.

A registration will only include Standard Conditions. These are rules and radionuclide limits that apply to a particular activity. These will be set when the registration is made; if you cannot comply with these standard conditions then you will need to apply for a Permit. Examples of activities that require a registration are available on the SEPA website.

SEPA: Authorisations guide for radioactive substances activities

A list of the standard conditions and guidance is available on the SEPA website.

SEPA: Standard Conditions for radioactive substances activities

SEPA: Guidance to Standard Conditions for radioactive substances activities

Application forms for Registrations are available on the SEPA website.

SEPA: Combined registration application form

Permits

A permit is required for higher risk or non-standard activities. These will be applications that need a detailed assessment from SEPA before deciding to issue a permit.

The type of activity that requires a permit includes any that need an assessment of financial provision, bespoke conditions, conditions relating to off-site issues or involve a consultation process. A permit will usually include standard conditions and bespoke conditions.

A list of the standard conditions and guidance is available on the SEPA website.

SEPA: Standard Conditions for radioactive substances activities

SEPA: Guidance to Standard Conditions for radioactive substances activities

A Permit will be required for any radioactive activity that is not covered by GBRs, Notifications or Registrations.

SEPA: Modular permit application form

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Permits

NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms