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Irish legislation prohibits the use of radioactive substances, irradiating apparatus and other sources of ionising radiation without an appropriate licence issued by the EPA.
The EPA is the designated competent authority responsible for regulating the use of ionising radiation in Ireland. This function was formerly under the remit of the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland. This is achieved through a system of licensing and inspection, which is designed to ensure that the risk to workers and members of the public from ionising radiation is kept to a minimum.
There are now almost 1700 practices in Ireland licensed by the EPA, including hospitals, dentists, veterinary surgeons, universities, institutes of technology and industrial users. We also regulate the exposure of aircrew to cosmic radiation and, where appropriate, work activities involving Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM).
The primary legislation governing safety in the uses of ionising radiation in Ireland is the Radiological Protection Act, 1991.
The Radiological Miscellaneous Provisions Act provides the EPA with the functions and powers to regulate irradiating apparatus and radioactive materials used in Ireland. The relevant sections of the Act include
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