Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 (REPPIR)
Background to REPPIR
The Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019(REPPIR) implement in Great Britain the articles on emergency preparedness and response in the Basic Safety Standards Directive 2013/59/Euratom (BSSD 2013). These Regulations do not apply to transport by road, rail, air, sea or inland waterway. The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (CDGs) have been amended to implement the requirements of the BSSD 2013 in relation to the transportation of radioactive materials.
REPPIR 2019 repeals and replaces REPPIR 2001 and duty holders will need to familiarise themselves with REPPIR 2019 and develop their approaches to demonstrating compliance with the Regulations.
Purpose of the Regulations
REPPIR 2019 are concerned with preparedness for radiation emergencies. The Regulations establish a framework of preparedness measures to ensure that arrangements are in place to effectively respond to that emergency, both on the site of the emergency situation and off-site where members of the public might be affected. The Regulations ensure that members of the public are provided with information, both before and during an emergency, so that they are properly informed and prepared, in advance, about what they need to do in the unlikely event of a radiation emergency occurring.
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;
- 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 will need to identify the quantities of radionuclides or fissile material present and compare them with threshold quantities in the Regulations. Operators will be familiar with the need to check inventory of radionuclides etc. as this was a requirement of REPPIR 2001. However, these thresholds have been revised in REPPIR 2019 and so it is important operators check the new quantities. 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 2019 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.
There are a number of changes in the new Regulations, with the main changes being:
- A change to the definition of a radiation emergency. A radiation emergency is no longer defined in relation to an emergency scenario have the potential for a specific dose to a member of the public;
- The introduction of Outline Planning, with associated Outline Planning Zones There planning zones are in addition to Detailed Emergency Planning Zones; and
- The Local Authority now sets Detailed Emergency Planning Zones. Previously, this was done by the Regulator.
People who handle radioactive substances in excess of the threshold quantities need carry out a hazard evaluation and then a consequence assessment. They are then required to prepare a consequence report. These evaluations and assessment determine whether there is a potential for a radiation emergency at that site. The consequence report must be sent to the Local Authority.
HSE is the regulator for the radiological sector and some defence activities, so hospitals, universities, some manufacturing functions for example. REPPIR 2019 requires that both the operator’s hazard evaluation and the consequence report must be sent to HSE: [email protected].
Alternatively, if your hazard evaluation and consequence report cannot be sent by email, please contact us at [email protected] and we will make arrangements for submission by post.
Licensed civil nuclear and defence sites are regulated by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). These operators can find more information on what they need to do on the ONR’s website.
Local authorities who have an HSE-enforced site with the potential for a radiological emergency are responsible for determining both a Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) and Outline Planning Zone (OPZ), if appropriate, following receipt of the consequence report and a discussion with the operator.
DEPZs are about capabilities and consider sheltering, evacuation, iodine prophylaxis, and how to put these into effect. These capabilities are pre-planned and can be put into effect quickly once an emergency has been declared.
OPZs are about information or communications with for example other LAs, transport companies, gathering resources and so on. The level of planning is of a lesser order and is to ensure on the one hand, some planning is considered for events rare but potentially very serious events. On the other, lower level outline planning might be appropriate if existing generic planning arrangements are deemed not sufficient.
To help duty holders, a supporting publication of Approved Code of Practice and guidance has been issued. The publication is freely available as a downloadable pdf on the ONR’s website.
It will also be published in due course as a priced, hard copy by The Stationary Office.