In Finland, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has supreme authority in supervising compliance with the Radiation Act, and it directs the protection of the public, workers and patients from harmful radiation.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health:
- drafts legislation and other guidance on radiation protection
- issues opinions on radiation protection matters
- monitors and directs the development and implementation of radiation matters.
Radiation protection is governed by law
Radiation protection is governed by the Radiation Act.
The government submitted a proposal for a new Radiation Act to Parliament on 22 March 2018. Parliament will consider the proposal and decide on its entry into force. According to the government proposal, the Act would enter into force on 1 July 2018.
- Proposal for a new Radiation Act (In Finnish)
The new Radiation Act and secondary legislation issued under it would implement the European Union’s new Basic Safety Standards Directive concerning radiation protection. The implementation of the Directive requires Finland to make many structural and terminological changes to its radiation legislation. Therefore, an overall reform of radiation legislation is justified in connection with the implementation of the Directive. In the reform, amendment needs identified by regulatory authorities will also be taken into account.
We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the Radiation Act reform.
The population is protected against both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. For more information on radiation and its effects, please visit the website of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK).
- Radiation Act 592/1991 (Finlex, in Finnish)
- What is radiation? (STUK)
- Radiation safety guidance (STUK)
Authorities’ responsibilities in radiation protection
The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) is the main operator and supervisor in radiation protection matters and other issues governed by radiation legislation. STUK operates under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
The Advisory Board for Radiation Safety operates under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. It serves as a coordinating and expert body in the field of radiation safety. It monitors general developments in radiation safety and issues opinions concerning radiation safety.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for nuclear energy use and the related issues of radiation safety at nuclear facilities and the command and control of nuclear safety.
The aim of the Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Waste Management (KYT) is to maintain national know-how in nuclear waste management and to promote collaboration between authorities, nuclear industry and scientists. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health monitors research on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, particularly from the viewpoint of radiation protection.
In accordance with the Government Programme, Finland will continue and reform its neighbouring area cooperation with Russia. Nuclear safety is one of the key objectives of this cooperation.
An appropriation of EUR 1.5 million allocated to neighbouring area cooperation has been transferred from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health for nuclear safety cooperation in north-west Russia.
- Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK)
- Health Protection Act 763/1994 (Finlex, in Finnish)
- Nuclear energy (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment)
- Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Waste Management
Key decrees on radiation protection
Decrees issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health further specify the provisions of the Radiation Act.
- Radiation Decree 1512/1991 (Finlex, In Finnish)
The website of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority includes a list of key legislation in the field of radiation safety.
- Decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on the medical use of radiation 423/2000 (Finlex)
- Decree on the supervision of non-ionizing radiation 1306/1993 (Finlex, in Finnish)
- Decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on limiting public exposure to non-ionizing radiation 294/2002 (in Finnish)
- Decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on maximum values for exposure to non-ionizing radiation 1474/1991 (Finlex, in Finnish)
- Decision of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on maximum values for radon in indoor air 944/1992 (Finlex, in Finnish)
- Decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on the quality standards and regulatory control of household water 1352/2015 (Finlex, in Finnish)
The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority has compiled a list of links on radiation and nuclear safety legislation on its website.
- Links to key legislation on radiation and nuclear safety (STUK, mostly in English, too)
International regulation of radiation protection
As a member of the European Union, Finland has conferred some its legislative powers to the Euratom Community, particularly in the field of ionizing radiation. Euratom drafts Directives that guide radiation protection in EU member states. These Euratom Directives are based on the European Commission’s initiative and adopted by the Council.
Helena Korpinen, Senior Specialist, Legal Affairs
STM, Hyvinvointi- ja palveluosasto / HPO, Asiakkuus ja toimintaympäristö -yksikkö / ASTO, Hyvinvoinnin- ja terveydensuojelu -tulosryhmä / HYT Telephone:0295163317