The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is now seeking views on transposition of the Basic Safety Standards (BSS) Directive (Directive 2013/59/EURATOM).
Council Directive 2013/59/EURATOM of 5 December 2013 updates the European basic safety standards (BSS) for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation. The new BSS Directive entered into force on 6 of February 2014 and must be transposed in all Member States by the 6 of February 2018. This Directive repeals/ consolidates the following Directives/Recommendations:
- Basic Safety Standards, Directive 96/29/Euratom (BSSD96)
- Medical Exposures, Directive 97/43/Euratom
- Outside Workers, Directive 90/641/Euratom (OW)
- Control of high activity sealed radioactive sources and orphan sources 2003/122/Euratom (HASS)
- Public Information Directive 89/618/Euratom
- Radon, Commission Recommendation 90/143/Euratom
The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) has overall responsibility for the transposition of the BSS Directive. DCCAE is working closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in relation to the transposition of the Directive in the areas of occupational and public exposure to ionising radiation, where EPA has regulatory authority.
The Department of Health is in parallel progressing work to implement the parts of the Directive for which they have policy responsibility. That Department undertook a consultation which closed on 30 June 2017.
Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom takes account of scientific developments since the earlier BSS Directive and is reflective of the 2007 recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). The main changes from the earlier safety standards relating to the protection of workers and members of the public are set out in this paper.
Changes relating to the protection of patients were set out separately in the consultation document issued by the Department of Health. The key changes relating to the protection of workers and members of the public include:
- A reduced dose limit for the lens for the eye in line with new scientific information;
- The expansion of scope of the safety standards to cover homes and changes to the radon reference level for workplaces;
- The introduction of graded authorisation in line with the ICRP recommendations;
- Strengthening the role of the National Dose Register and the arrangements for outside workers;
- Introduction of the role of Radiation Protection Officer (RPO) and changes to the role of Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) in line with the ICRP recommendations;
- Changed requirements in relation to disposal of unsealed sources;
- Expanded requirements in relation to emergency preparedness.
In Ireland the Directive will be implemented through:
- Amendment to the Radiological Protection Act, 1991 to provide for graded authorisation and
- Revocation and replacement of statutory instruments, inter alia, S.I. No. 125 of 2000, S.I. No. 875 of 2005 and S.I. No. 654 of 2007 by Order.
The deadline for submissions as part of this consultation was 5pm on the 24 October 2017.