On 1 January 2018 Ionising Radiation Regulations 2017 (IRR17) replaced Regulations (IRR99).
For more information go to the draft Approved Code of Practice and guidance.
We are in the process of updating the guidance below to reflect this change.
Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 (REPPIR)
Background to REPPIR
The Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 (REPPIR) implement in Great Britain the articles on intervention in cases of radiation (radiological) emergency in Council Directive 96/29/Euratom, except where they apply to transport by road, rail, air, sea or inland waterway.
The Regulations also partly implement Council Directive 89/618/Euratom on informing the general public about health protection measures to be applied and steps to be taken in the event of a radiation emergency.
Purpose of the Regulations
REPPIR establishes a framework of emergency preparedness measures to ensure that members of the public are:
- properly informed and prepared, in advance, about what to do in the unlikely event of a radiation emergency occurring, and
- provided with information if a radiation emergency actually occurs.
A "radiation emergency" is an event that is likely to result in a member of the public receiving an effective dose of 5 mSv during the year immediately following the emergency.
REPPIR do not replace existing nuclear site licence conditions but operators of licensed sites who comply with those conditions will satisfy equivalent provisions in REPPIR. Further information is available from HSE's Nuclear Safety Directorate.
Do the regulations apply to you?
REPPIR place legal duties on:
- operators of premises where work with ionising radiation is carried out e.g. licensed nuclear sites, hospitals, universities, ports, airports, factories
- people who transport radioactive substances through a public place (but not those using standard forms of transport such as road, rail, inland waterway, sea, air, or through a pipeline);
- all local authorities, not just those who have REPPIR operators within their boundaries, and
- the employers of people who intervene in a radiation emergency, such as the emergency services.
To decide if the Regulations apply, operators or transporters will need to identify the quantities of radionuclides or fissile material present or transported and compare them with threshold quantities in the Regulations. If the threshold amounts are exceeded, there may be the potential for a radiation emergency, and so the Regulations will apply.
There are some radioactive sources and packages to which REPPIR does not apply, including:
- non-dispersible sources on premises
- radioactive substances conforming to the specifications for special form radioactive material, and
- radioactive substances in Types B and C packages.
Operators and people who transport radioactive substances through public places
People who handle or transport radioactive substances in excess of the threshold quantities need carry out a risk assessment (hazard identification and risk evaluation – HIRE) and send a report of the assessment to HSE. If the assessment concludes that a radiation emergency is reasonably foreseeable, there are further duties relating to emergency preparedness, providing information to members of the public, and notifying emergency dose levels to HSE (see ‘Employers’ below).
Assessment reports for licensed nuclear sites should be sent to the Nuclear Installations Inspector responsible for the site.
HIRE reports for non-nuclear sites should be sent by e-mail to: email@example.com
Alternatively, if your application and any supporting documentation cannot be sent by email, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make arrangements for a postal application
Local authorities are responsible for preparing an off-site emergency plan for any premises in their area with an operator’s emergency plan. Also, all local authorities, whether or not they have REPPIR premises within their area, should have arrangements to provide information to the public should a radiation emergency arise. These are intended to cover emergencies at REPPIR sites and other incidents such as fallen nuclear-powered satellites, transport accidents or incidents occurring overseas that may also affect Great Britain.
The Regulations contain a framework for controlling the exposure of ‘intervention personnel’ during a radiation emergency. These are usually employees of the operator or emergency services who are required to intervene in an emergency e.g. to bring help to endangered people, prevent a large number of people being exposed, or save valuable plant or goods.
During intervention, these employees may receive a dose of ionising radiation that exceeds the dose limits in Schedule 4 of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99). REPPIR calls these 'emergency exposures', and they are only permitted for authorised employees who have received appropriate information and training and are properly equipped.
HSE has published information about dose levels for emergency exposures.
Developments since REPPIR came into force
Certificate of Approval AP1
On 30 May 2002 HSE issued Approval No. AP1. This approved the following quantities for the purpose of Part 1 of Schedule 2:
- Indium - In-107
- 7 1013 Bq
- Oxygen - O-15
- 1 1014 Bq
- Neodymium - Nd-14
- 2 1013 Bq
- Selenium - Se-72
- 5 1012 Bq
- Tellurium - Te-118
- 1 1013 Bq
Transport of radioactive substances
Information about implementation of the Euratom Directives in the transport sectors is available from: