environmental permitting

Environmental Permitting and Compliance in the Nuclear Field

Protecting the environment and human health from operational discharges

Protecting the environment and human health from operational discharges

Nuclear operations can potentially impact the environment and human health from operational discharges, waste management and disposal and from activities associated with construction and decommissioning. Negative effects to the environment and human health need to be avoided or minimised by ensuring compliance with threshold limits and best practice management principles.

What is Environmental Permitting and Compliance?

The Environmental Permitting regime as defined in England and Wales, and respective legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland requires operators to obtain permits for some facilities, to register others as exempt and provides for ongoing supervision by the UK environmental regulators (e.g. EA, SEPA, NRW and NIEA). Under an environmental permitting regime, its associated guidance and standards, operators are required to:

  • Identify, assess and monitor the emissions from their facility
  • Operate within the emissions limit set within the permit and comply with conditions
  • Notify the regulator in the event of a limit exceedance or pollution incident.
  • Have a management system detailing how emissions will be controlled.

Specifically for radioactive substances the following approach is adopted:

  • Use of Best Available Techniques (BAT) or Best Practicable Means (BPM) to minimise the generation and disposal of radioactive waste so as to reduce the impact on members of the public to a level that is as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) and to protect the environment.
  • Have suitable management arrangements, including sufficient competent persons and resources, to comply with the permit.
  • Dispose of radioactive waste in the manner and amounts specified in the permit.
  • Undertake monitoring, using BAT, as necessary to demonstrate compliance with the permit.
  • Make and keep records demonstrating compliance and provide information to regulators as requested.

Why is Environmental Permitting and Compliance Important?

Environmental Compliance with the environmental permitting regimes applied across the UK is a statutory requirement. The environmental permitting regimes are applied to activities that could harm the environment or human health unless they are controlled. Effective Environmental Compliance by operators helps ensure:

  • that statutory and Government policy environmental targets and outcomes are achieved.
  • the administrative burden on operators is minimised.
  • regulatory enforcement, reputational damage and possible prosecution is avoided.

TÜV SÜD's Services

TÜV SÜD Nuclear Technologies Division's Environmental Team have a proven technical and operational capability and the practical experience, coupled with a flexible and scalable capacity to provide the following Environmental Permitting and Compliance services:

  • Radioactive Substances Regulation (RSR) and Conventional Environmental Permit development and compliance support.
  • Article 37 General Data Submissions.
  • Strategies for meeting an objective/permit condition.
  • Site Condition Reports.
  • Waste Management Plans.
  • Risk Assessment.
  • BAT/BPM Assessment.
  • Environment Case production.
  • Development of Management Arrangements for permitting.
  • Independent Review and Inspection of Environmental Permitting arrangements.


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