Radiation occurs from two sources. Natural radiation exists due to materials present in the earth and particles arriving from space. Artificial radiation is caused by man-made processes. There is no difference in the effects of the radiation regarding its source.

An average person in the UK will receive approximately 10% of their annual dose of radiation from the suns cosmic rays, whilst another 50% is due to Radon (Rn) a gas generated from naturally occurring uranium present in the earth. Artificial radiation sources include medical treatments (approximately 15%) and fall out from nuclear tests and accidents (approximately 1%).


RIMNET or Radioactive Incident Monitoring Network was set up following the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Its purpose is to improve the UK’s ability to respond to any overseas nuclear accident of a similar kind in the future.

More information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Radioactive Substances Register

A number of business premises use small amounts of radioactive materials. Examples include Americium-241 used in smoke detectors and Polonium-210 used in dust detection and anti-static devices. All these business premises are registered with the Environment Agency under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993.

More information can be found on the Environment Agency website.