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Nuclear Radiation

Volume 940: debated on Monday 28 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the accepted safety level of nuclear radiation.

Nuclear radiation safety levels in Great Britain are derived primarily from the recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, and vary according to the category of the person concerned and to the relevant environment. For employed persons subject to the Factories Act 1961, these levels are laid down in the Ionising Radiations (Sealed Sources) Regulations 1969 and the Ionising Radiations (Unsealed Radioactive Substances) Regulations 1968. For those employed persons who are not subject to the Factories Act, the general provisions of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 apply, but there are no specific requirements at present. However, new regulations are in preparation and would be applicable to such people, in replacement of existing provisions. These proposed new measures will also take account of the recent Euratom Directive on Radiological Protection which, in addition to laying down standards of protection for workers, prescribed dose limits for students, apprentices and members of the public. For large establishments subject to licensing procedures under the Nuclear Installation Act 1965, the same levels apply.