Office for Nuclear Regulation

REPPIR 2019 - Approved Code of Practice update

The REPPIR 2019 Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and Guidance contains the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 (REPPIR), the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and guidance text. It provides supporting good practice guidance for operators and Local Authorities (LAs) about preparedness and response arrangements for radiation emergencies.

The Regulations set out the legal duties and the ACOP and guidance give practical advice on how to comply with those requirements. The publication provides guidance for operators in the evaluation of hazards and assessment of consequences, and for LAs on the duties to establish emergency planning zones and make emergency plans.

The Regulations came into force on 22 May 2019, updating and replacing the previous 2001 regulations. They contain new requirements for emergency planning in particular, defining a radiation emergency, establishing a different basis and responsibilities for determining emergency planning zones, including the addition of Outline Planning Zones, and defining an emergency worker.
This Stationary Office version of the REPPIR ACOP and Guidance replaces the PDF version that was published in September 2019. There is one substantive change to the Guidance Regarding Arrangements for Medical Surveillance from the September 2019 version.

Explanation of change to guidance regarding arrangements for medical surveillance from the previous edition

A change has been made to the REPPIR guidance under Regulation 181(d) concerning the arrangements for medical surveillance in the event of an emergency exposure from the first edition of the REPPIR ACOP and guidance which was published in September 2019. This change can be found at paragraphs 529 and 530 in this edition which replace paragraphs 488 and 489 in the previous edition.

An additional threshold equivalent dose has been added of 100mSv to the lens of the eye, and a clarification of any relevant dose limits which is replaced by the dose limits for the skin or extremities. Further clarifications have been made to these paragraphs to clarify the intent and nature of the medical surveillance that is required in the event of an emergency exposure, in addition to the inclusion of references to the Ionising Radiation Regulations guidance and Guidance for appointed doctors on the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017.

REPPIR 2019 - Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and guidance

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REPPIR 2019 - Approved Code of Practice (2021) update

Following internal consideration and agreement by our Regulatory Leadership Team (RLT), Chaired by our Executive Director of Operations (EDO) (19.07.21) we are issuing this notice.

The notice updates the non-statutory guidance previously provided on this page. Specific interested parties were notified ahead of the publication of this notice.

The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP)

The ACoP gives practical information on how to comply with the law. The code has a special legal status and must be ‘approved’ by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) with the consent of the Secretary of State (DWP).

Non-statutory guidance

Non-statutory guidance does not constitute part of the ACoP, but may be included in the text alongside it. Non-statutory guidance is not subject to the requirements for HSE approval and Ministerial consent. However, the non-statutory guidance has the similar intent of guiding the dutyholder thus:-

“Following the guidance is not compulsory and you are free to take other action. But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law.”

What is changing

We have amended paragraphs 179 and 228 of the ACoP non-statutory guidance. The changes will make the non-statutory guidance at paragraphs 179 and 228 consistent with regulations 4(7) and 7(6) of the REPPIR Regulations. The changes are shown in the form of the stricken text in the extracts below.

Guidance for REPPIR Regulation 4(7)

Paragraph 179 (non-statutory guidance)

All operators must send the details of their hazard evaluation to the relevant regulator (see regulation 2) within 28 days of completing the evaluation. For defence nuclear sites, where the technical information specified above is sensitive nuclear material specifically associated with a nuclear warship or nuclear weapon, the details of the hazard evaluation may instead be shared with the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR) who will provide assurance to ONR on the adequacy of the hazard evaluation.

Guidance for REPPIR Regulation 7(6)

Paragraph 228 (non-statutory guidance)

All operators must send the details of the assessment to the relevant regulator (see regulation 2) within 28 days of sending the consequences report to the local authority. The operator may choose to combine the details of assessment with the hazard evaluation prepared under regulation 4(7). In the case of defence nuclear sites, where the technical information specified in the ACOP for regulation 7(6) is sensitive nuclear material specifically associated with a nuclear warship or nuclear weapon, the details of the assessment may instead be shared with DNSR who will provide assurance to ONR on the adequacy of the assessment.

Why it is changing

The REPPIR regulations 4(7) and 7(6) do not provide for the insertion of a third party between the dutyholder and the statutory regulator. Consequently, the non-statutory guidance doesn't fully meet its intended purpose to assist dutyholders to comply with the law. The removal of references to a third party will end any doubt for dutyholders that it is for the statutory regulator to ensure full compliance with REPPIR regulations 4(7) and 7(6).

Consultation

The changes shown above ensure the present non-statutory guidance is a legally correct reflection of the (REPPIR) legislation it is intended to provide assistance with. This legislation and the wider policy that informed it, was consulted on in 2019.

HSE

The HSE must approve the publication of an ACoP or any amendments to an ACoP. However, HSE have confirmed this requirement does not extend to the non-statutory guidance included alongside an ACoP. (This note will also be referenced on the HSE website).