Important changes to the Ionising Radiation Regulations

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 15:19

Do you work with Ionising Radiation?

A new set of Ionising Radiation Regulations come into force on 1 January 2018 and if you work with ionising radiation one of the biggest changes is the way you submit information to HSE.

Work with ionising radiation is carried out across a broad range of industries and includes:

  • the use of X-ray devices, radioactive substances and devices containing radioactive substances [e.g. x-ray devices for passenger baggage] 
  • working in atmospheres containing radon gas

The Ionising Radiations Regulations (IRR) are being revised, and a new set of Regulations (IRR17) will come into force on 1 January 2018.

One of the changes introduced by these revised Regulations is the introduction of a risk-based approach to telling HSE of your work with ionising radiation.


Rather than just notifications, there will be three distinct tiers:

  • Notification (lowest risk categories)
  • Registration (medium risk categories)
  • Consent (highest risk categories)

Affected entities will need to Register and/or obtain Consent through a new on-line portal which is expected to go live on 1 January 2018

If you are already working with ionising radiation, you will need to submit this information to HSE between 1 January 2018 and 5 February 2018.

For more information on the new risk-based tiers, and the associated fees involved, please visit the HSE webpage on the new changes.

Further, more detailed, guidance is being developed and will be shared via the HSE webpages when the new Regulations come into force.



Some operational questions answered...

What will be included?

You will need to notify for 

  • Work with under 1,000kg of artificial or naturally occurring radionuclides that is: between the low and medium end of specific concentration levelsabove specific quantity levels
  • Work in a radon atmosphere above an annual average of 300Bq m-3

You will need to register for 

  • radiation generators, such as X-ray devices, that are not a specific practice requiring consent
  • 1000kg or over of artificial or naturally occurring radionuclides that is above the low end of specific concentration levels
  • under 1000kg of artificial or naturally occurring radionuclides that is above the medium end of specific concentration levels

You will need consent for a specific list of working practices such as Uranium Mining.  It seems likely to us that ports will not typically get into the highest risk category, but you should check out the list on the HSE web site to be certain.


Some questions answered


Is this likely to affect ports?

Each organisation will need to look at the activities that it has a duty for, but one area that has come to light is the use of x-ray devices for checking passenger baggage, these are likely to fall into the Registration category


How much will it cost?

Each Company affected will need to make a one off registration for £25, this is per legal entity - if you are a port organisation with multiple sites, as long as they are all part of the same legal entity it is one payment for the lot.

  • You can register all of your equipment under the one registration, it is not £25 per piece of equipment.  Once registered, you can add or amend equipment without further charge


Do I have to notify changes?

Yes, the Company must notify material changes via the portal but this is free unless they change legal entity


What about advice?

The Company must use the services of a Radiation Protection Advisor if their activities come under these regulations.


My Company is already registered, do I need to do it again on the new portal?

Yes, even if a company has previously registered they need to register under the new scheme.