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ATOMIC ENERGY ACT.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY.

   1.   Commencement.

   2.   Application.

   3.   Interpretation.

PART II
ATOMIC ENERGY COUNCIL.

   4.   Establishment of Council.

   5.   Composition of Council.

   6.   Tenure of office of members of Council.

   7.   Filling of vacancies of Council

   8.   Remuneration of members of Council.

   9.   Functions of Council.

   10.   Meetings of Council.

   11.   Committees of Council.

   12.   Delegation of functions of Council.

   13.   Independence of Council.

   14.   Dosimetry service.

PART III
SECRETARIAT AND STAFF OF COUNCIL.

   15.   Secretariat.

   16.   Secretary.

   17.   Functions of Secretary.

   18.   Tenure of office of Secretary.

   19.   Radiation Protection Officers.

   20.   Designation and grading of Radiation Protection Officers.

   21.   Access to premises by Radiation Protection Officers and authorised persons.

   22.   Other officers and staff of Council.

   23.   Consultants.

PART IV
FINANCE.

   24.   Funds of Council.

   25.   Borrowing powers.

   26.   Power to open and operate bank accounts.

   27.   Investment of surplus funds.

   28.   Estimates.

   29.   Financial year of Council.

   30.   Accounts.

   31.   Audit.

PART V
AUTHORISATIONS.

   32.   No practice without authorisation.

   33.   Exempted practices.

   34.   Notification of Council.

   35.   Application for authorisation.

   36.   Radiation Safety Officer.

   37.   Grounds for grant or rejection of application.

   38.   Conditions of authorisation.

   39.   Duration of authorisation.

   40.   Transferability of authorisation.

   41.   Renewal of authorisation.

   42.   Power of Council to review, amend or vary authorisation.

   43.   Compliance with conditions of authorisation.

   44.   Action for contravention of condition by authorised person.

   45.   Modification of terms of authorisation.

   46.   Revocation of authorisation.

   47.   Obligations of authorised persons.

   48.   Notice of intended termination.

   49.   Register of authorisations.

   50.   Notice of accident.

   51.   Registration.

PART VI
PROMOTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF NUCLEAR ENERGY.

   52.   Promotion and development of nuclear energy.

   53.   Establishment and functions of Nuclear Energy Unit.

PART VII
SAFETY AND SECURITY OF RADIOACTIVE SOURCES.

   54.   General responsibility.

   55.   Accountability and security of sources.

   56.   Security of radioactive sources.

PART VIII
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE.

   57.   Radiological Emergency Response Committee.

   58.   Functions of Radiological Emergency Response Committee.

   59.   Responsibility of authorised persons.

   60.   Emergency response plans.

   61.   Authorised person's emergency response planning requirements.

   62.   Implementation of intervention.

PART IX
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES.

   63.   Offences and penalties.

   64.   Additional powers of court.

   65.   Offences by companies and partnerships.

   66.   Seizure.

   67.   General penalty.

   68.   Evidence of cause of disability.

PART X
MISCELLANEOUS.

   69.   Registry of radiation sources.

   70.   Annual and other reports.

   71.   Confidentiality.

   72.   Protection of members and employees.

   73.   Regulations.

   74.   Guidelines.

   75.   Repeal.

   76.   Continuation of authorisations.

   77.   Transitional provision.

   78.   Amendment of Schedules.

   79.   Transfer of assets and liabilities.

 

      First Schedule   Currency point.

      Second Schedule   Meetings of the council.

 

ATOMIC ENERGY ACT.

   An Act to regulate the peaceful applications of ionising radiation; to establish the Atomic Energy Council; to provide for the protection and safety of individuals, society and the environment from the dangers resulting from ionising radiation; to provide for the production and use of radiation sources and the management of radioactive waste; to provide for a framework for the promotion and development of nuclear energy for use in power generation and other peaceful purposes; to provide for compliance with international safety requirements for the use of ionising radiation, radiation protection and security of radioactive sources; to repeal the Atomic Energy Act; and for other related matters.

Commencement: 18 February, 2009.

 

PART I
PRELIMINARY.

 

1.   Commencement.

   This Act shall come into force on a date to be appointed by the Minister by statutory instrument.

 

2.   Application.

   (1) This Act applies—

   (a)   to every person whose practice involves or includes the production, processing, handling, use, holding, storage, transport or disposal of natural and artificial radioactive material and devices emitting ionising radiation;

   (b)   to any other practice which involves a risk of harm arising from ionising radiation or a radioactive source;

   (c)   to a facility which serves purposes of, or performs functions in the course of which ionising radiation is created or is capable of being created;

   (d)   to all situations involving exposure or the potential for exposure to ionising radiation, except those which are excluded from the Standards.

   (2) Nothing in this Act applies to a practice or a source within a practice which is exempted by the Council under section 33 from the requirements of the Standards if the Council is satisfied that the practice or source meets the exemption criteria or the exemption levels specified by this Act or other exemption levels specified by the Council.

   (3) The Council may, at its discretion, by statutory order, apply the provisions of this Act to sources of electromagnetic radiation other than X-rays and gamma rays.

 

3.   Interpretation.

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   "accident" means any unintended event, including operating errors, equipment failures or other mishaps, the consequences or potential consequences of which are not negligible from the point of view of protection or safety;

   "approved" means approved by the Council;

   "atomic energy" means ionising radiation emitted or energy released as a result of electronic or nuclear transitions in an atom;

   "authorisation" means permission granted in writing by the Council to a person who has submitted an application to carry out a practice, and may take the form of a certificate of registration, licence or permit granted by the Council under section 37;

   "authorised person" means a person issued an authorisation under section 37;

   "certificate of registration" means a certificate issued under section 51;

   "Council" means the Atomic Energy Council established by section 4;

   "currency point" means the value assigned to a currency point in the First Schedule;

   "decommissioning" means the discontinuation through administrative and technical actions, of the use of radiation equipment or installation on a permanent basis with or without dismantling the equipment or installations to allow the removal of some or all regulatory controls and includes decontamination, removal or containment of radioactive materials, waste component and structures;

   "Defence in Depth" means the application of more than a single protective measure for a given safety objective such that the objective is achieved even if one of the protective measures fails;

   "disposal", in relation to waste, includes its removal, deposit, or destruction, its discharge, whether into water or into air or into a sewer or drain or otherwise, its burial whether underground or otherwise and "dispose of" shall be construed accordingly;

   "dose" means a measure of the radiation received or absorbed by a target;

   "dosimetry" means the science of measuring radiation doses;

   "exclude" means the exclusion from regulation of any exposure whose magnitude or likelihood is essentially unamenable to control through the requirements of the Standards;

   "exempt" means the determination by the Council that a source or practice need not be subject to some or all aspects of regulatory control on the basis that the exposure, including potential exposure due to source or practice, is too small to warrant the application of those aspects or that this is the optimum option for protection irrespective of the actual level of dose or risks;

   "exposure" means the act or condition of being subject to irradiation and includes external exposure (irradiation by sources outside the body) and internal exposure (irradiation by sources inside the body);

   "facility" means any assembly of devices, equipment, structures or natural features, whether simple or complex, which serves some purpose or performs some function, in the course of which ionising radiation is created, or is capable of being created;

   "IAEA" means the International Atomic Energy Agency;

   "intake" means the process of taking radionuclides into the body by inhalation or ingestion, or through the skin;

   "intervention" means any action intended to reduce or avert exposure, or the likelihood of exposure to sources which are not part of a controlled practice or which are out of control as a consequence of an accident;

   "ionising radiation" means electromagnetic or corpuscular radiation, consisting of photons or particles capable of producing ions, directly or indirectly, in its passage through matter;

   "justified", in relation to a practice, means a practice which produces sufficient benefit to the exposed individuals or to society to offset the radiation harm that it might cause;

   "limit" means the value of a quantity used in certain specified activities or circumstances that must not be exceeded;

   "member of the public" means any individual in the population, except when subject to occupational or medical exposure;

   "Minister" means the Minister responsible for atomic energy and radiation protection;

   "monitoring" means the measurement of a dose or contamination for purposes related to the assessment or control of exposure to radiation or radioactive substances, and the interpretation of the results;

   "notification" means a document submitted to the Council by a person, to notify the Council of an intention to carry out a practice;

   "practice" means any human activity that introduces additional sources of exposure or exposure pathways or extends exposure to additional people or modifies the network of exposure pathways from existing sources, so as to increase the exposure or the likelihood of exposure of people or the number of people exposed;

   "premises" includes any land, whether developed or not, including any place underground and any land covered by water;

   "prescribed" means prescribed by or under this Act;

   "protection and safety" means the protection of people against exposure to ionising radiation or radioactive substances and the safety of radiation sources, including the means for achieving such protection and safety;

   "radiation" means ionising radiation;

   "Radiation Protection Officer" means a person appointed under section 19;

   "Radiation Safety Officer" means a person appointed under section 36;

   "radioactive material" means any matter or substance containing one or more radionuclides, the activity or concentration of which is sufficiently intense to entail a significant risk of disability or disease to anybody or organ in exposure, whether external or internal, and whether continuous or total;

   "radioactive source" means radioactive material that is permanently sealed in a capsule or closely bonded in a solid form;

   "radioactive waste" means material, whatever its physical form, remaining from practices or interventions and for which no further use is foreseen—

   (a)   that contains or is contaminated with radioactive substances and has an activity or activity concentration higher than the exempted levels; and

   (b)   exposure to which is not excluded from the Standards;

   "radiological damage" means any personal injury, loss of life or any loss of, or damage to, property which arises out of or results from the radioactive properties or combination of radioactive properties with toxic, explosive or other hazardous properties of radioactive material, or other materials;

   "radiological incident" means an occurrence or series of occurrences, having the same origin, which causes radiological damage in relation to preventive measures and creates a grave and imminent threat of causing such damage;

   "registered person" means a person registered under section 51 to carry out a practice or to use a source and who has recognised rights and duties for that practice or source, particularly in relation to protection and safety;

   "registration" means a form of authorisation for practices of low or moderate risks of using ionising radiation under section 51;

   "regulations" means regulations made under section 73;

   "risk" means a multi-attribute quantity expressing hazard, danger or chance of harmful or injurious consequences associated with actual or potential exposure and relates to quantities such as the probability that specific deleterious consequences may arise and the magnitude and character of such consequences;

   "safety assessment" means a review of the aspects of design and operation of a source which are relevant to the protection of persons or the safety of the source, including the analysis of the provisions for safety and protection established in the design and operation of the source and the analysis of risks associated with normal conditions and accident situations;

   "Secretary" means the Secretary to the Council appointed under section 16;

   "security" means measures to prevent unauthorised access to or damage to, and loss theft or unauthorised transfer of radioactive material;

   "source" means anything that may cause radiation exposure, such as by emitting ionising radiation or releasing radioactive substances or materials;

   "Standards" means the International Basic Safety Standards for protection against Ionising Radiation and for the Safety of Radiation Sources issued by the IAEA;

   "substance" means any natural or artificial material, whether in solid or liquid form, or in the form of a gas or vapour;

   "waste" means substances which constitute scrap material or effluent or other unwanted surplus substance arising from the application of any process, and includes any substance or article which requires to be disposed of as being broken, worn out, contaminated or otherwise spoilt;

   "worker" means any person who works and who has recognised rights and duties in relation to occupational radiation protection.

   (2) In determining, for the purposes of this Act, whether any radioactive material is kept or used on any premises, no account shall be taken of any radioactive material kept or used in or on any vehicle, vessel or aircraft if—

   (a)   the vehicle, vessel or aircraft is on those premises in the course of transportation; or

   (b)   in the case of a vessel which is on those premises otherwise than in the course of transportation, the material is used in propelling the vessel or is kept in or on the vessel for use in propelling it.

   (3) Any substance or article, which, in the course of the carrying on of any practice, is discharged, discarded or otherwise dealt with as if it were waste, shall, for the purposes of this Act, be presumed to be waste unless the contrary is proved.

   (4) Any reference in this Act to contamination of a substance or article shall be construed as a reference to its becoming radioactive or possessing increased radioactivity as a result of its being affected in any of the following ways—

   (a)   absorption, admixture or adhesion of radioactive material or radioactive waste; and

   (b)   the emission of neutrons and other ionising radiation.

 

PART II
ATOMIC ENERGY COUNCIL.

 

4.   Establishment of Council.

   (1) There is established the Atomic Energy Council.

   (2) The Council is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and may, for the discharge of its functions under this Act—

   (a)   acquire, hold and dispose of moveable and immovable property;

   (b)   sue and be sued in its corporate name; and

   (c)   do all acts and things as a body corporate may lawfully do.

   (3) The Minister may give directions in writing to the Council with respect to the policy to be observed and implemented by the Council, and the Council shall comply with those directions.

   (4) Directions given by the Minister under subsection (3) shall not adversely affect or interfere with the independence of the Council or the performance of the functions and exercise of the powers of the Council under this Act.

   (5) The Minister shall cause a copy of any directions given to the Council under subsection (3) to be published in the Gazette.

 

5.   Composition of Council.

   (1) The Council shall consist of a Chairperson, and four other members appointed by the Minister with the approval of Cabinet.

   (2) The members of the Council shall be persons of high moral character and proven integrity and who are qualified in nuclear science and technology disciplines.

   (3) A person shall not be appointed to the Council who—

   (a)   has been convicted of an offence under this Act or of an offence involving dishonesty or fraud by a competent court in Uganda or elsewhere;

   (b)   is an undischarged bankrupt, or has made any assignment or arrangem

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