Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 - proposed amendments: consultation analysis

Summarises the responses that we received on our consultation on potential amendments to the Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 as part of the better environmental regulation programme.

4. Radioactive Substance – Technical Provisions

We proposed a few minor changes to Schedules 8 and 9 of the 2018 Regulations to correct errors and clarify technical information and requirements. These include proposed minor amendments to the 2018 Regulations in relation to the disposal of smoke detectors and the use of radioactive substances for veterinary diagnostics and treatment.

Questions 14 and 15 sought comments on the minor amendments as set out in Annex D for the minor changes relevant to radioactive substances activities, and whether you agreed with or had comments on the proposed changes to Schedules 8 and 9 for radioactive substances activities.

4.1.1 Summary of responses

There was one comment made on the minor amendments to radioactive substances for the 2018 Regulations with the respondee stating the changes were logical.

The respondent provided comment in relation to the addition of text to Schedule 8. The respondent thought that the addition of text to Schedule 8 14(2)(b) i.e. ‘arising from the operation of the nuclear sites’ does not fully address the issue intended to be resolved and proposed an alternative.

The same respondent thought that the term ‘non-radioactive’ waste to replace ‘normal refuse’ in Schedule 9 has little formal standing and suggested ‘controlled waste’ be used. The respondent also noted that the term ‘normal refuse’ is used in the radioactive substances standard conditions applicable to registrations and permits and this proposal would create a discrepancy between the GBRs and the standard conditions that mirror them.

Two respondees noted the removal of rivers and coastal waters from small aqueous disposals of radioactive waste, currently authorised under the radioactive substances GBRs 8 and 11. They cautioned that in scenarios where the only environmental hazard posed by an aqueous waste destined for disposal to the water environment, is a radioactive component meeting the present GBR 8 and 11 activity thresholds, that the principles from the 2013 Basic Safety Standards Directive (BSSD) on exemption of activities from regulatory control continue to be upheld. They also noted that the aqueous waste provisions of GBR 11 are replicated in the Radioactive Substances Standard Conditions published by SEPA as standard condition G.4. They suggest that if any change is made to GBR 11 that these are consistently applied to G.4.

4.1.2 Scottish Government response on the radioactive substance technical provisions

We acknowledge the response that disagreed with the wording ‘arising from operation at nuclear sites’ as the respondent felt that this phrase does not adequately address the problem it is introduced to resolve. We have considered this further and the Scottish Government have decided to keep the draft consultation wording, with some additions that will provide greater clarity. The wording used in the consultation draft will align the 2018 Regulations with the wording used in the BSSD.

We acknowledge the response received regarding the suggested change in the wording of Schedule 9 from ‘non-radioactive waste’ to ‘controlled waste’. After further consideration, the Scottish Government intends to continue with the use of the term ‘non-radioactive waste’ in Schedule 9 and the relevant standard condition will be updated to use the term ‘non-radioactive waste’.

On consideration of the comments regarding the removal of rivers and coastal waters from small aqueous disposals of radioactive waste, which is authorised under radioactive substances GBR’s 8 and 11, we have removed this proposed amendment and instead replace with a provision that will continue the status quo in the radioactive substances regime.


Email: chemicals@gov.scot

Back to top