Information about radioactive substance sites

What is a Radioactive Substances site?

The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 ('the Regulations') were introduced on 6 April 2010, and were amended in 2011 by the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011.

You can find detailed guidance on the regulation of radioactive substance on

Download 'Radioactive substances regulation (RSR) guidance' from

Download 'Environmental Permitting Core guidance for the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016' from

Radioactive Substances sites are defined in Schedule 23 to the Regulations and lists radionuclides which are subject to the Regulations. This Schedule also defines the types of use of radionuclides that is covered by the Regulations and the safety standards that should be applied to the handling of these radionuclides. The Schedule was re-issued through the 2011 Amendment Regulations, and it is this version that must now be used.

There are three main categories of radioactive substances dependant on the form in which the radionuclides are used:

  • Sealed sources - where the radioactive nuclide is in a solid form enclosed within a container
  • Open sources - where the radioactive nuclide is a gas or in solution and is used as a liquid
  • HASS - high activity sealed sources

Does your activity require an EPR radioactive substance permit?

Part 2 of the Schedule sets out who needs a permit. You will need a permit if you carry out one or more of the radioactive substances activities listed in the Schedule unless your substances are out of scope or exempt:

The list of activities includes:

  • keeping or using radioactive material
  • receiving, accumulating or disposing of radioactive waste
  • keeping or using mobile radioactive apparatus

General enquiries email -

General enquiries number 0300 065 3000.

Completing the Application Forms

When making an application, you should always fill out three forms:

Form A (About you and your premises)

Form F (Charges and declarations)

And either B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, C2, C3, C4, D2, D3, E2, or E4 - depending on what type of application you are applying for.

Please note that forms B3 and C3 are for nuclear sites.

Regulatory Guidance Notes (RGNs)

The Radioactive Substances Regulation (RSR) Environmental Principles (REPs) provides a standardised framework for the assessments and judgements we make when regulating the use of radioactive substances. They provide guidance that helps underpin the decisions we make, including those about permitting and compliance where we regulate directly and where we are consultees or otherwise have influence.

Further guidance covering the following topics can be found on the Environment Agency’s website:

  • RSR principles of optimisation
  • Radiological monitoring technical guidance note 2 - Environmental Radiological Monitoring
  • Radiological monitoring technical guidance note 2 - Quick guide
  • Criteria for setting limits on the discharges of radioactive waste from nuclear sites
  • Principles for the Assessment of Prospective Public Doses arising from Authorised Discharges of Radioactive Waste to the Environment

How to comply

Guidance on how to comply with the main types of radioactive substances regulation (RSR) environmental permits is available on

You can use guidance to help you understand:

  • your permit
  • the conditions we consider necessary to regulate your activity
  • what you should do to comply with your permit

Guidance on complying with an RSR environmental permit for sealed sources
Download 'How to comply with your EPR RSR environmental permit: sealed sources' from

Guidance on complying with a permit for keeping and using category 5 sealed radioactive sources
Download 'How to comply with your standard rules environmental permit for the keeping and use of Category 5 sealed radioactive sources' from

Guidance on complying with an RSR environmental permit for open sources
Download 'Open sources and receipt, accumulation and disposal of radioactive waste on non-nuclear sites: how to comply with your EPR RSR environmental permit' from

Guidance on complying with environmental permits for radioactive substances activities on nuclear licensed sites.
Download 'RSR permits for nuclear licensed sites: how to comply' from


Download 'Regulatory Guidance Series RSR 2: The regulation of radioactive substances activities on nuclear licensed sites' from

Guidance on the assessment of ionising radiation doses to the public from authorised discharges.
Download 'Principles for the assessment of prospective public doses arising from authorised discharges of radioactive waste to the environment' from

Guidance setting out the principles and framework for undertaking studies on optimisation and the identification of Best Available Techniques (BAT)
Download 'RSR : Principles of optimisation in the management and disposal of radioactive waste' from

High Activity Sealed Sources (HASS)

If your permit requires you to submit High Activity Sealed Sources (HASS) reports, you will be sent the form and guidance when you receive your permit. Existing permit holders can request the form from us by emailing

Post your form to:
Natural Resources Wales
Regulated Industry Permitting Team Leader
29 Newport Road
Floor 5, Cambria House
CF24 0TP

You should consider how climate change could increase flood risk and so pollution risk. To help you assess your flood risk and measures you can take, you can read guidance on the Environment Agency’s website - 'Flood risks for small users of radioactive substances'

Activity justifications

No practice involving exposures to radiation should be adopted unless it produces sufficient benefit to the exposed individuals or to society to offset the radiation detriment it causes (the ‘justification’ principle).

We can only issue a permit for a radioactive substances activity that relates to a ‘justified practice’ or work not subject to the requirement for justification. Decisions on whether a practice is justified are made by Government and further information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Related document downloads

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