I propose to take Questions Nos. 221 and 222 together.
My Department is responsible for the transposition into Irish law of Council Directive 2013/59 EURATOM laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation (Basic Safety Standards Directive).
The Directive consolidates and updates existing EURATOM provisions for protection against the harmful effects of ionising radiation by replacing five existing Directives and a Commission Recommendation and covers occupational, medical and public exposures.
My Department is transposing those elements that relate to occupational and public exposure, while the provisions dealing with medical exposures are being transposed separately by the Department of Health. I understand that the Department of Health is working to finalise the European Union (Basic Safety Standards for Protection Against Dangers from Medical Exposure to Ionising Radiation) Regulations 2018 in the coming weeks.
The Basic Safety Standards Directive provides for a risk-based graded approach to the regulatory control of radiation sources in place of the one-size-fits-all system of licensing currently operated by the EPA. The new graded approach to licensing will provide an alternative system of registration for low-risk activities resulting in a reduction of the regulatory, financial and administrative burden on current licence holders. The provisions to give effect to the graded approach are set out in the Radiological Protection (Amendment) Bill which will be published shortly. The Bill also addresses other legal anomalies that have arisen since the 1991 Radiological Protection Act came into force.
The secondary legislation to transpose the remaining elements of the Basic Safety Standards Directive under the remit of my Department has been prepared and will be signed once the Bill is enacted.