The documents defining the legislation applicable to radioactive sources present in the industrial sector are mostly found in the public health code, environmental code and Employment Code:
- The public health code defines, in articles L 1333-1 to L 1333-20, R 1333-17 to R 1333-53 the permit system applicable to nuclear activities, and in article R 1333-27, defines a permit exemption threshold. Articles R 1333-1 to R 1333-15 define general measures to protect the population against ionising radiation.
- The environmental code defines, in articles L 511 to L 517, the permit or declaration system applicable to radioactive sources subject to the legislation on classified installations and decree no. 53-578 of 20 May 1953, regularly updated, defines within the nomenclature the list of installations to which the legislation on classified installations applies (decree of 24 November 2006: sections 1700, 1715 and 1735).
- The Employment Code defines, in articles R 231-73 to R 231-116, the measures preventing the risk of exposure to ionising radiation applicable to all exposed workers (employees, self-employed professionals, public institution, administration etc.)
2Interaction of legislation2
For permit holding classified installations for environmental protection (ICPE), articles L. 1333-4 and R. 1333.26 of the public health code provide a simplification to avoid a dual permit process (environmental code and public health code): the permit issued under the ICPE legislation serves as the permit prescribed by the public health code provided that the nuclear activity comes under the nomenclature of classified installations, and that the facility requires a permit for any section of the nomenclature.
The permit provided for in articles R.1333-17 to R 1333-44 of the public health code remains obligatory for all other uses of ionising radiations, notably
- the use of X-ray generating electrical equipment,
- activities destined for medicine, dentistry, human biology or medical, biomedical and veterinary research,
- the import, export and distribution of radionuclides or products or devices containing radionuclides.
This simplification only relates to permit procedures. It does not preclude operators’ compliance with the general requirements of the public health code, in particular those stipulated by articles R. 1333-45 to R. 1333-53 relative to the purchase, distribution, import, export, transfer, takeover and disposal of radioactive sources.
Furthermore, the requirements of the French Employment Code relative to the prevention of the risk of exposure to ionising radiations provided in articles R. 271-73 and subsequent articles are fully applicable.
Thus, ICPE inspectors, labour inspectors and radiation protection inspectors are qualified to monitor, within their domain of expertise, this nuclear activity:
- ICPE inspectors: prefectural permit order,
- labour inspectors: articles of the French Employment Code,
- radiation protection inspectors: articles of the French Employment Code and public health code.
Beyond a certain radioactive element threshold, the legislation on basic nuclear installations replaces the legislation on classified installations for environmental protection.
Furthermore, the public health code has entrusted the IRSN with the responsibility of monitoring radioactive sources, article R. 1333-47 stipulating that any transfer or purchase be subject to preliminary registration and delivery of a supply form by the IRSN.
Public health code: articles L 1333-1 to L 1333-20, R 1333-17 to R 1333-53
Environmental code: articles L 511 to L 517
Decree no. 53-578 of 20 May 1953, decree no. 2006-1454 of 24 November 2006
French Employment Code: articles R 231-73 to R 231-116