Environment Agency: Regulatory Position Statement regarding Radioactive Substances Activity (RSA) Environment Permits and EU Exit

EU Exit RPS Environment Agency Logo

The Environment Agency (EA) has issued a new Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) (entitled EU Exit RPS) in relation to the United Kingdom’s planned exit from the EU in respect of radioactive substances, which is valid until 30th September 2019.

Subject to an exit from the EU occurring holders of radioactive substances activity (RSA) environmental permits under the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2016 (as amended) may exceed the specified numerical limits (for both sealed and unsealed radioactive sources) in the period if:

  • operators anticipate that you will not be able to obtain radioactive material (including sealed and unsealed radioactive sources) when the UK exits the EU, so decide to obtain additional stocks whilst these are available, or
  • because of EU Exit, operators are not able to obtain radioactive sources as easily but can purchase larger sources, or
  • because of EU Exit, operators accept earlier delivery of short-lived radionuclides with greater radioactivity, or
  • routine supplies are not available and operators have to obtain alternatives.

An operator can also exceed the limits in their permit for radioactive waste, but only if it has resulted from the additional radioactive materials and the operator must dispose of any such related waste by 30th September 2019.

The RPS also states that an operator can only carry out additional disposal to the sewer if you are the operator of a hospital carrying out medical treatments or tests (subject to supply of an additional radiological dose assessment).

The EA expects that operators can demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable steps to avoid holding more radioactive material or generating more radioactive waste than the permit allows by use of contingency planning.

The EU Exit RPS states that an operator must continue to comply with the other requirements in the environmental permit and the conditions specified in the RPS.

In all cases, should an operator need to utilise the RPS it must notify the Environment Agency (EA) in writing before it proceeds.

L2 Business Consulting Limited can provide advice on all aspects of radioactive substances activity (RSA) environmental permits including application, variations, compliance and surrender in addition to advice on the how to approach use of this regulatory position statement.