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Title: The Concept of Minimum Requirements in Regulatory Work
Authors: Akpa, Timothy
Keywords: Safety
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: NNRA Library
Abstract: THE CONCEPT OF MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS IN REGULATORY WORK In the arduous and complicated task of regulating nuclear and radiation producing materials, a significant question always pops up. What should be the minimum requirement in regulatory work and who is to set the minimum standards? In answering this question, it is necessary to view the legal framework starting from the apex of the hierarchy where principal requirements are enacted in legislation. This is quickly followed by detailed requirements which are found in regulations, closely linked to regulations are specific requirements or guidance necessary for practice as entrenched in codes and finally minimum requirements which are housed in process standards. The enabling legislation establishing the regulatory authority is a basic legal document allocating responsibilities and establishing fundamental protection principles and structures with laid down mechanism for appealing. Regulations are however more specific than the law on protection and safety requirements, developed by the Regulatory Authority and apply to practices and sources within practices. In addition, codes of practices are Usually developed and issued by the Regulatory Authority, Practice specific advice on how to achieve protection and safety requirements defined in legislation or regulations and may or may not be legally binding(other procedures might be followed to achieve the same protection and safety goals). The minimum requirements States in a simplified way the standards of safety to be met before a specific authorization is issued. The document itself is much more specific and detailed incorporating the advice to be given by Safety Advisers and is useful for determining stages for the purpose of issuing permits. The minimum requirement is also subject to frequent change more than legislation or regulations. In the development of a radiation safety regulation, there is always an effort to strike a balance between two opposing instruments bearing in mind the need for flexibility to permit easy adaptation of the regulations to evolving circumstances and technology contained in ‘performance regulatory instruments’ and the need to include detailed requirements for ease in determining when the requirements are being met as contained in ‘prescriptive regulatory instruments’. Both instruments have their peculiarities as well as felt merits and demerits and most regulations contain elements of both prescriptive and performance requirement instruments. The major difference is that a performance oriented regulatory system is more general and simply specifies the overall radiation safety requirement, basic operational parameters and may require the maintenance of adequate records to demonstrate compliance or the licensee to plan and organize operations to keep low radiation levels while a prescriptive oriented regulatory system is more specific and states how to achieve radiation safety in practice and may indicate where, how and when to conduct workplace monitoring, what type of instrument should be used and what records should be maintained. Seminar presented by T.C Akpa
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