A sophisticated criminal cyber-attack has had a major impact on the way SEPA works. We are working through all the services that we provide to understand what we need to do in the short and longer term to restore services. We are approaching this work with a sense of urgency.
Service status update: Environmental authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018/ Radioactive Substances Act 1993 (RSA93)
What are we able to do now?
We can now accept:
- applications for an EASR18 or RSA93 permit (please contact sepa.org.uk/contact);
- online notifications EASR18 for orphan source or managed radioactive substances (only IAEA category 5 that: exceed 200 kBq; tritium sources exceeding 20 GBq; and electrodeposited source. Radioactive substances in IAEA category 4 and above require a permit).
What should you do now?
If you have made or wish to make an application for a permit under EASR18 or RSA93 please contact us at sepa.org.uk/contact. There is a fee associated with this service.
If you wish to make an online notification, you can use our online notification service for:
- managed radioactive substances;
- orphan source radioactive substances.
There is no fee associated with this service and it should take just a few minutes to complete.
Our main role is to protect the environment and human health by regulating activities that can cause pollution, and by monitoring the quality of Scotland’s air, land and water.
We regulate the management of radioactive substances, carry out environmental monitoring, undertake emergency response and investigate and regulate historic areas of radioactive contamination.
- What are radioactive substances?
- How are radioactive substances regulated?
- What about land contaminated by radioactive substances?
- Contact us
Radioactivity is the spontaneous emission of radiation from the nucleus of unstable atoms called radionuclides. Substances that emit radioactivity are called radioactive substances. Activities involving radioactive substances are called radioactive substances activities.
Radioactivity can be used in a variety of ways, including:
- diagnosing and treating medical conditions in both humans and animals;
- measurement and control of industrial processes;
- materials testing, including industrial radiography;
- scientific and medical research and teaching;
- energy generation.
While radioactive substances have a number of useful purposes, exposure to radiation can be harmful to health and the environment so they must be carefully controlled.
The level at which a substance becomes ‘radioactive’ and into regulation is set out in the Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 (EA(S)R) and we regulate the management of radioactive substances under this. There are four types of authorisation under EA(S)R:
- general binding rules (GBRs);
We issue permits and registrations to the nuclear and non-nuclear industry containing conditions under which radioactive substances can be managed. We inspect authorised persons to assess compliance against their authorisation. Notification is used for low risk activities where we do not need to decide whether to grant or refuse an authorisation but need to know that the activity is being carried out. General binding rules are a set of mandatory rules that cover specific low risk activities that are described in Schedule 9 of EA(S)R.
For more information on what activities require which type of authorisation please see the Authorisation guide.
We regulate issues surrounding land contaminated by historic uses of radioactive substances under the Radioactive Contaminated Land (Scotland) Regulations 2007.
For more specific information on Dalgety Bay, please refer to our pages on that subject.
For more information or advice on the legislation and regulation of radioactive substances, please contact us.
You can report an incident involving radioactive material or radioactive waste by calling our 24 hour pollution hotline on 0800 80 70 60.