The regulatory framework for ionizing radiation applications is of high interest to a broad range of workers and professional groups in the sector of health and industry,
as well as to a large number of institutional bodies having responsibilities in public health, environment protection, civil protection and radiation safety in general.
The Greek Radiation Protection Regulations were revised recently; the revision of the Radiation Protection Regulations was the endpoint of a long and complicated process which started in 2013, when the new Basic Safety Standards (BSS) Directive was issued (Directive 2013/59/Euratom). The new Radiation Protection Regulations are in full accordance with the BSS directive and also take into account the findings of international peer reviews of the national regulatory framework (IRRS mission of the year 2012, follow-up mission of the year 2017), as well as the regulatory experience over the last 20 years.
The new Radiation Protection Regulations consist of:
• a presidential decree (PD) which is the principal legislative act that provides the regulatory framework for conducting activities related to ionizing radiation;
• three ministerial decisions dealing with the notification and authorization procedures, the assignment of responsibilities for the implementation of strategies for the management of existing exposure situations and the establishment of the national action plan addressing long-term risks from radon exposures;
• EEAE regulatory acts (EEAE decisions) that are providing legally binding technical rules to control or regulate specific tasks and activities;
• regulatory guidance which is a set of recommendations designed to assist individuals and related parties in complying with the legal requirements.
The Presidential Decree 101/2018 entitled “Adaptation of the Greek legislation to Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom of December 5, 2013 laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation, and repealing Directives 89/618/Euratom, 90/641/Euratom, 96/29/Euratom, 97/43/ Euratom and 2003/122/(EE L13/17.1.2014) - Establishment of radiation protection regulations” was published in the Official Government Gazette on 20 November 2018 (Government Gazette No. 194/A/20.11.2018).
The Presidential Decree 101/2018 puts emphasis on:
- the graded approach of the regulatory control based on risk;
- the importance of the justification principle in medical exposures;
- the definition of diagnostic reference levels as optimization tool;
- the protection of exposed workers, specifically of pregnant and breastfeeding workers;
- the importance of education, training and information for all the persons involved in the radiation protection system;
- the clear allocation of responsibilities regarding the radiation protection, including the prime responsibility of the undertaking for the practices applied;
- the promotion of safety culture;
- the reduction of the eye lens dose limit for the exposed workers;
- the protection from natural radiation sources and the environmental issues in general;
- the protection from radon in dwellings and working places, as well as new requirements for building materials;
- the preparedness and response related to emergency exposure.
The ministerial decision entitled “Procedures for the regulatory control of practices of ionizing radiation – approval and recognition of services and experts” has been promulgated in the Official Government Gazette in April 2019. It is the main secondary legislation issued upon the publication of the Presidential Decree 101/2018 on the adoption of the Euratom Basic Safety Standards Directive.
The ministerial decision defines:
- the procedures and the necessary information and supporting documents for the notification and authorization of practices subject to regulatory control for the purposes of radiation protection based on the graded approach;
- the practices for which registration or licensing is required;
- other types of practices for which registration or licensing is required (such as the employment of outside workers, the transportation of radioactive material etc);
- the arrangements for (a) the approval of radiation protection experts, medical physics experts and occupational health services; (b) the authorization of dosimetry services; and (c) the recognition of the radiation protection officers
Both the Presidential Decree 101/2018 and the ministerial decision were based on extensive consultation and cooperation with interested parties, including the public consultation through the government platform opengov.gr.