Radioactive substances

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We work with a wide range of agencies and organisations on a national and international level to ensure the safety of radioactive waste management and environmental radioactive protection.

Radioactive substances are used routinely in Scotland for medical diagnosis and treatment, research, energy generation and industrial processes.  However, if they are not managed properly they can potentially cause contamination of the environment and impacts on human health.

A key part of our work is to ensure that radiation doses from all man-made radioactive substances in food and the environment remain below statutory limits, which we ensure through our comprehensive environmental monitoring programme.

Under the contaminated land regime, we are responsible for dealing with land that is causing, or likely to cause, unacceptable radiation exposures as a result of radioactive contamination from historic activities.  Where no voluntary action is being taken to clean up land that is causing a problem, we can formally identify areas of land as contaminated, which then allows us to require the polluter to remediate the land or pay the costs of doing so.

In addition, we can access the Radioactive Incident Monitoring Network (RIMNET), which detects levels of radioactivity in the environment across the UK.