RWA: Regulators with attitude?

No!  RWA actually stands for Radioactive Waste Adviser!  The environment agencies (NIEA, SEPA and EA) launched their statement on RWAs at the Society for Radiological Protection (SRP) Annual Meeting in Poole in May.

Following extensive engagement with the UK Radiation Protection profession, the regulators have also developed a syllabus explaining the scope and level of knowledge expected of someone performing the RWA role for their employer.  The syllabus also explains that experience is required for key areas of expertise to ensure competent environmental radiation protection advice is a part of radioactive waste management.

The RWA arrangements do not change the regulators expectations of persons who accumulate and dispose of radioactive wastes under the provisions of radioactive waste legislation.  What they do is to clarify those expectations and provide for a recognised professional standard and a consistent set of implementation procedures used by all three UK environment agencies.

A number of guidance documents have also been produced to support the position statement.  These include guidance on

·    the roles and responsibilities of permit holders and of the RWA 
·    suitability
·    Corporate RWAs

Further guidance is being developed.  In addition, an “RWA update” will soon be available (and then periodically) from the RWA webpages given below.

An RWA Approval Board is being appointed and this will have oversight of the arrangements as well the responsibility for recognising candidate assessing bodies.  Representatives from the nuclear industry and from the non-nuclear sectors will be invited to sit on the board as advisers.

Efforts have been made to ensure that there will be a smooth introduction of these arrangements by the design of generous “grandfather rights”.

Relevant personnel from nuclear sites, hospitals, consultants will all be able to gain RWA status.  Applications will be accepted electronically from 01 July via a dedicated email address to be provided at the web site described by the link below.  The Approval Board is expecting to issue Certificates of Recognition of an individual to act as an RWA within 4 months of the receipt of applications.  These will eventually be replaced by Certificates issued by an appointed Assessment Body.

All of these documents can be found at:

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