An update on the revision of the European Basic Safety Standards Directive
The revision of the European Basic Safety Standards Directive was a major topic at the EUTERP workshops. Working groups and plenary sessions discussed the role of the Qualified Expert, and identified varying interpretations across Europe on the Qualified Expert duties and the associated training requirements. An important output of EUTERP was a recommendation to the European Commission to replace the concept of the Qualified Expert with that of the Radiation Protection Expert (RPE). EUTERP drew up a definition of the RPE, together with that for a completely new role, the Radiation Protection Officer, and also provided the European Commission with guidance on the roles and duties of the RPE and RPO. The Article 31 group of experts subsequently produced a final draft of the new BSS, and we were pleased to note that the Article 31 group had accepted our recommendations and incorporated them into the draft.
The revision of the European Union BSS has now entered the negotiation phase and monthly meetings are being held between the negotiators of the Member States and the Atomic Questions Group. The meetings are going through the draft BSS in Article order and to date progress has been steady. The intention is to complete the negotiations and adopt the new Directive in 2013. It is likely that Member States will then be given an implementation period of 4 years after adoption of the BSS for incorporation into national legislation.
Of particular interest to EUTERP is the incorporation in the revision of a new chapter specifically covering education and training. Amongst other things, this chapter will require Member States to have systems in place for the education, training and recognition of RPEs and Medical Physics Experts. Other articles in the chapter cover the training of exposed workers, apprentices and students (article 16) and the provision of information and training of workers potentially exposed to orphan sources (article 17).
A wide range of topic are likely to be discussed in the negotiation process. These include the new dose limit for the lens of the eye, the validity of the radon reference level of 1000 Bq/g in the light of new radon dosimetry, and the application of the graded approach to authorization.
Further information on the progress of the negotiations will be placed on the EUTERP website when it becomes available. The draft revised Directive can be found on the Europa website via the following link: