Office of Radiological Protection

The Office of Radiological Protection (ORP) is responsibile for ensuring that people and the environment in Ireland are protected from the harmful effects of ionising radiation.

The ORP fulfils its remit by providing strong and effective regulation of all those who use radiation sources and by working in partnership with other organisations and regulatory authorities. The ORP monitors radiation levels in Ireland. In addition, it provides advice to the public and the Government on radiation sources, on their management and on the corresponding risks. The ORP has a central role in ensuring Ireland’s emergency preparedness in the event of a nuclear accident abroad and is responsible for monitoring developments in relation to nuclear installations abroad.   It has no role in the promotion or otherwise of nuclear power.

The ORP is committed to scientific excellence, and its advice is based on internationally agreed standards and on peer-reviewed research.

The ORP is a successor to the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland which merged with the EPA in 2014.

The key functions of the ORP are:

  • To provide advice to the Government, the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government and other Ministers on matters relating to radiological safety.
  • To provide information to the public on any matters relating to radiological safety.
  • To maintain and develop a national laboratory for the measurement of levels of radioactivity in the environment, and to assess the significance of these levels for the Irish population.
  • To control by licence the custody, use, manufacture, importation, transportation, distribution, exportation and disposal of radioactive substances, irradiating apparatus and other sources of ionising radiation.
  • To assist in the development of national plans for emergencies arising from nuclear accidents and to act in support of such plans.
  • To carry out and promote research in relevant fields.
  • To monitor developments abroad relating to nuclear installations and radiological safety generally and to keep the Government informed of their implications for Ireland.
  • To co-operate with the relevant authorities in other states and with appropriate international organisations.
  • To represent the State on international bodies.
  • To be the competent authority under international conventions on nuclear matters.
  • Where appropriate, to provide, or oversee the provision of, specialist radiation protection services such as personal dosimetry, radioactivity measurement, instrument calibration, radon measurements and product certification.
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