This section contains information about our regulation of the nuclear industry.
A complex industry surrounds nuclear power stations, to manage and support their work. It includes businesses that make fuel for power stations and those managing the radioactive waste they produce.
As well as power stations we also have nuclear reactors powering Royal Navy submarines and some nuclear weapons are also manufactured in the UK.
There are 34 licensed nuclear sites in England and Wales. They are regularly inspected by the Health and Safety Executive, who are in charge of regulating all aspects of nuclear safety on them.
Our role and responsibilities
We oversee how the 34 sites dispose of their radioactive waste by granting site permits to the operators who run them.
Operators of these sites must have a permit from us to dispose of their waste. These permits set out limits and conditions on the amount and way they dispose of their waste and cover all radioactive waste disposals including discharges to air and water, and transfers of wastes for incineration or disposal to land.
It is also our responsibility to check up on sites to ensure they're not exceeding their limits and releasing as little radioactive waste as possible into the environment.
Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 (EPR2010)
The new Environmental Permitting Regulations were introduced on 6 April 2010. They repeal the Radioactive Substances Regulations 1993 in England and Wales only. Arrangements in Scotland and Northern Ireland will stay as they are.
Qualified Expert Consultation
A consultation is being carried out by the Environment Agency, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
The consultation is about setting a common standard in the UK, for the competences of a Qualified Expert who can advise employers about radioactive waste management and environmental radiation protection, to meet the requirements of the Radioactive Waste Legislation. The UK environment agencies are seeking your views on the proposals included in the document.
The consultation document can be found on the SEPA website: