Criteria for regulating and managing radioactive material in South Africa compared to the criteria of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System within the mining and minerals industries
De Clercq, Adelein Renes
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The National Nuclear Regulator Act (NNRA) (Act no 47 of 1999) and the Hazardous Substances Act (Act no. 15 of 1973): Group IV Hazardous Substances regulate the use of radioactive material in the mining and minerals processing industries in South Africa. Two. different regulatory bodies enforce these Acts. Both sets of regulations promulgated in terms of these Acts contain quality management requirements. However, there are differences between the quality management requirements prescribed by the different regulators. This study investigates in which areas the quality management requirements of the two regulators agree with the conditions of the internationally accepted ISO 14001 environmental management system (EMS). It also identifies the discrepancies between each requirement of the ISO 14001 EMS and the corresponding quality management requirement required by each regulator. The method of investigation is a comparative analysis between the ISO 14001 EMS and each regulator's requirements. The benefits of implementing the integrated ISO 14001 EMS were identified. This research evaluated the quality management requirements of each regulator and determined whether it would result in the same benefits. Specific objectives for each component of the ISO 14001 EMS were also identified. For each regulator, the student determined if a similar management requirement existed and if that specific requirement had the same objective. From the results of the comparative analyses the student concluded that the quality management system required by the National Nuclear Regulator, the regulator of the NNRA, contains all the core elements of the ISO 14001 EMS and could be integrated into the ISO 14001 EMS. The quality management requirements of the other regulator, the Directorate, only partially meet that of the ISO 14001 EMS. The reason for that is that the Directorate does not require all components of a complete management system such as a policy statement, management review process, etc. The author concludes that it is recommended that the regulators of radioactive material in South Africa should follow a consistent approach in regulating activities carried out with radioactive material. Furthermore, both regulators should require the implementation of an effective management system, such as the ISO 14001 EMS. This will contribute to the effectiveness and efficiency of organisations to control activities earned out with radioactive material and to achieve compliance with regulations.