On Tuesday, 9 June, Latvian parliament’s Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee supported for the third reading amendments for the Law on Radiation Safety and Nuclear Safety.
The proposed amendments provide for expanding the range of functions of the State Environment Service’s Radiation Safety Centre (RDC).
This law outlines the main requirements for protection against ionizing radiation, conditions for issue of licences for operations involving sources of ionizing radiation and registration of sources of ionizing radiation, as well as requirements for operations involving radioactive waste.
Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s Environment Protection Department director RudīteVesere explained that amendments to the law were developed in order to adopt EU directives that provide safety standards for protection against sources of ionizing radiation. Changes were also developed with Latvian government’s 4 January 2018 decision to sort out the issue with radiation safety in the country.
She said the EU directive is already partially adopted in Latvian regulations. However, there are multiple aspects that require additional analysis and evaluation to find the best way to integrate amendments.
According to Vesere, parts of the planned amendments to the law are associated with definitions included therein. Amendments to the aforementioned provide multiple changes in relation to requirements for notification of activities ionizing radiation sources. From 1 January 2021 onward there will be a separate regulation that will govern activities involving sources of ionizing radiation performing which does not require a registration certificate. Instead it will be necessary to inform RDC. Once the service has been properly notified, operations involving aforementioned materials will come under monitoring by RDC.
The existing order dictates two-level control over activities involving ionizing radiation sources, as well as licensing and registration.
The legislative draft provides for adoption of a single-level control and notification level. Vesere said it will help relieve the administrative burden.
According to the representative of the Environment Protection Ministry, the changes proposed for the law cover the technical side of things. However, the legislative draft also covers requirements that provide distribution of responsibility over control of radiation safety of goods. The legislative draft also includes a new delegation for certification of radiation safety experts and medical personnel.
The legislative draft also provides expansion of RDC functions, stating that the centre will issue radiation safety experts’ and medical workers’ certification, will perform radiation safety training for radiation safety experts and medical workers, as well as RDC workers to help raise the level of radiation safety in the country. RDC will also promote residents’ awareness and education of radiation safety and a number of other aspects.
The legislative draft also outlines the institutions that will have to monitor radiation safety control for goods.
The Food and Veterinary Service will be responsible for food products and animal feeds. The Health Inspectorate will be responsible for monitoring of cosmetics and chemical products. Construction products control will be performed by the Consumer Rights Protection Centre.
According to the legislative draft, if there are justified suspicions that information was received from other countries regarding increased levels of radiation in goods and levels do not meet safety levels or present a threat to human health, institutions will perform control of goods based on recommendations from RDC.
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