Ionising radiation safety

The Ministry of Health’s Office of Radiation Safety administers the Radiation Safety Act 2016 and the Radiation Safety Regulations 2016 on behalf of the New Zealand Government. This legislation controls all dealings with ionising radiation. For information about non-ionising radiation and radiofrequency such as 5G, please visit Non-ionising radiation page under Environmental Health.

Key requirements of the Radiation Safety Act 2016

The legislation requires the following:

  • Managing entities of radiation sources must hold a Source licence authorising them to manage and control those sources.
  • Managing entities must register controlled radiation sources with the Office of Radiation Safety.
  • Individual users of radiation sources must hold a Use licence unless their use is otherwise authorised by the Act or regulations.
  • Consent is required for anyone who wishes to import or export radioactive material.

News

September 2019

Updates on the sector engagement

ORS has been out and about meeting some of the key stakeholders for the past couple of months. Locally, we have had an opportunity to visit a nuclear medicine manufacturing facility. We also had an opportunity to meet the Medical Radiation Technology group at their annual conference. It was an excellent opportunity to meet the radiation medical sector in person and discuss our roles in supporting the industry and improving radiation safety in New Zealand.  

We are also working with the other government agencies toward a better nation-wide emergency response strategy. Internationally, the Director for Radiation Safety participated in the 10th Asia Pacific Safeguards Network (APSN) Annual Meeting in Bali. 

ORS is looking forward to engaging with other sector groups in the near future. Please contact us via orsenquires@health.govt.nz if you have questions about our work with ionising radiation.

Updates on the publication of Codes of Practice

Proposed Code of Practice for Security of Radioactive Material

Thank you for sending your feedback on the proposed Security of Radioactive Material code of practice, which closed on the 16th of August 2019.  ORS has reviewed all submitted feedback and incorporated changes where needed after consulting the submitters. The finalised code of practice is going through the final sign-out process. We are anticipating publishing the final code of practice in October 2019.

Proposed Codes of Practice for Non-medical Radiation

ORS is planning to consult the affected industries for the following five proposed codes of practice in October 2019:

  • Code of Practice for Non-medical Irradiators - Draft for consultation
  • Code of Practice for Veterinary Use - Draft for consultation
  • Code of Practice for Non-medical Irradiating Apparatus - Draft for consultation
  • Code of Practice for Non-medical Unsealed Radioactive Material - Draft for consultation
  • Code of Practice for Non-medical Sealed Radioactive Material - Draft for consultation.

In 2017, ORS published a draft Code of Practice for Non-medical Uses of Ionising Radiation to consult sectors that use ionising radiation for non-medical purposes. The target audience for this consultation included all facilities using radiation or radioactive material for industrial, veterinary, agricultural, legal or security purposes. It also included facilities that use radiation or radioactive material for education, training or research, mining and processing of raw materials. Many submitters preferred to have codes that provide more detail specific to individual practices. Based on this feedback, ORS has drafted the above six separate codes of practice for the non-medical sector. The six non-medical codes will replace the previously proposed single non-medical code.

Please keep an eye on the Codes of practice page to see the consultation documents and link to the Ministry of Health Consultation Hub website to provide your feedback.

In this section

  • The Ministry of Health’s Office of Radiation Safety administers the Radiation Safety Act 2016 and the Radiation Safety Regulations 2016 on behalf of the New Zealand Government Read more
  • Users of ionising radiation must be authorised under the Radiation Safety Act 2016 whether by way of licence or otherwise. This section has information for radiation users, including licensing requirements, other forms of authorisation, compliance with fundamental requirements, codes of practice and more. Read more
  • Check the requirements for the sale, purchase or disposal of radiation sources under the Radiation Saftey Act 2016. Importers and exporters of radioactive material must obtain consent from the Office of Radiation Safety (or comply with the Regulations). Read more
  • Radioactive material must be transported safely and securely. This section contains information on the rules for transporting radioactive material, guidance for drivers and handlers, and information on transporting uranium ore concentrate. Read more
  • Many service providers provide important support services to the radiation sector. This section has information for service providers, including when they need a licence, and information on calibrating radiation measuring equipment and personal dosimetry services. Read more
  • The Office of Radiation Safety is the regulatory body which administers radiation safety legislation. This section describes the functions of the office and links to other organisations promoting radiation safety. Read more
  • The Ministry of Health’s environmental radioactivity monitoring programme analyses trends in environmental radioactivity in the region and warns of any influx in radioactivity. The programme confirms recent trends of decreasing radioactivity levels in the New Zealand environment, despite recent nuclear incidents that have occurred in the northern hemisphere. Read more
  • The Environmental radioactivity annual reports have reported on environmental radioactivity levels in the New Zealand and South Pacific region since 1960.   Read more
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