Ionising radiation safety

COVID-19 update (12/05/20): The Office of Radiation Safety is still operating during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Read the full update below. We have also added information for users of Nuclear Density Gauges.

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

12 May 2020

Office of Radiation Safety response to COVID-19 Level 2

Licences and consent requests

In response to the Government’s recommendations on COVID-19, the Office of Radiation Safety (ORS) staff are working from home.

We are still processing your applications and other requests however, because we are working remotely, our responses may be slower than usual.

To avoid further delays, please send your applications and requests by email to orsenquiries@health.govt.nz.

Applications or correspondence sent by mail will be processed when staff are able to return to the office. 

Compliance monitoring inspections

As of 14 May 2020, ORS will resume on-site visits at licensed facilities for compliance monitoring inspections.

We are developing ways of doing compliance monitoring inspections that follow the government's physical distancing guidelines. Facilities that are due for inspections will be contacted. 

How to contact ORS

The best way to get in touch is to email orsenquiries@health.govt.nz. This inbox is monitored from 9 am to 4 pm every workday.

For emergencies, please contact the Radiation Emergency (24 hours) number at  021 393 632.

Publication of the Code of Practice for the Security of Radioactive Material

The new Code of Practice for the Security of Radioactive Material has been published and gazetted as of 8 May 2020.

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. In some cases, those service providers are involved in the use of ionising radiation and must therefore obtain a licence. In other cases, the services provided do not require providers to obtain a licence. In this section you will learn the requirements for service providers. 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
Back to top