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Exemption and clearance in directive 2013/59/Euratom

Vrijstelling en vrijgave in richtlijn 2013/59/Euratom


Practices and work activities involving radioactive materials can cause exposure of humans to ionizing radiation, resulting in health risks. These practices and work activities include the application of radioactive materials in hospitals and the management of waste in the industry. For this reason, such practices and work activities are subject to regulation. The extent to which this is the case usually depends on the exposure, and in certain circumstances, materials can be exempted from regulation. European legislation on exemption of radioactive materials has recently been modified. RIVM has investigated and outlined the consequences of these modifications for Dutch policy.

For materials containing very low levels of radioactivity it can be argued that regulation of these materials does not contribute to a further optimisation of protection to ionizing radiation. Therefore, these materials may be exempted from regulation. On the basis of an assessment against so-called clearance or exemption limits, undertakers can determine whether this is the case. These limits are established in legislation and are based on international recommendations and directives (directive 96/29/Euratom).

In December 2013 a new directive was adopted (2013/59/Euratom), which replaces previous directives on this subject, and which shall be transposed into national legislation by 2018. This implies inter alia a revision of the European framework for exemption and clearance of radioactive materials.

This report provides a summary of the current Dutch policy and regulation on the exemption and clearance of radioactive materials, and explains how the European requirements were implemented in the past in Dutch legislation. Furthermore, the recent modifications in European legislation are identified and described, and the policy of neighbouring countries on exemption and clearance has been investigated. Finally, some options are suggested to implement the provisions of the new directive on this subject.

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