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(1)There shall be a public authority, to be called the National Radiological Protection Board (in this Act referred to as “the Board”), whose function it shall be—
(a)by means of research and otherwise, to advance the acquisition of knowledge about the protection of mankind from radiation hazards; and
(b)to provide information and advice to persons (including government departments) with responsibilities in the United Kingdom in relation to the protection from radiation hazards either of the community as a whole or of particular sections of the community.
(2)The Board shall have power—
(a)to provide technical services to persons concerned with radiation hazards; and
(b)to make charges for such services, and for providing information and advice.
(3)The foregoing subsections shall not be treated as transferring to the Board any functions exercisable by a government department under any enactment; but the Board shall, in accordance with directions given to them by the Health Ministers—
(a)assume responsibility for the Radiological Protection Service heretofore provided by the Medical Research Council; and
(b)carry on in place of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (hereinafter called “the Atomic Energy Authority”) such activities related to the effect of radiation hazards on health and safety and heretofore carried on by that Authority as may be specified in the directions.
(4)In this Act—
(a)subject to subsection (8) below, “the Health Ministers” means the following Ministers acting jointly:—
the [F1Secretary of State for Health];
the Secretary of State for Scotland;
the Secretary of State for Wales; and
the Minister of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland;
(b)references to the Secretary of State are to the Secretary of State for Social Services; and
(c)“radiation hazards” means the dangers of ionising radiations emitted by radioactive substances or other sources.
(5)The functions of the Advisory Committee established under section 6 of the M1Radioactive Substances Act 1948 are hereby transferred to the Board, and the Committee shall cease to exist.
(6)The Secretary of State, after consultation with the Atomic Energy Authority and the Medical Research Council, may by order—
(a)confer on the Board any new functions for purposes connected with the protection of mankind from radiation hazards, or from the dangers of radiation which is electro-magnetic, but not ionising; or
(b)terminate any function conferred on the Board by or under this Act; or
(c)vary any such function, so however as not to confer on the Board any new function which could not be conferred on them in accordance with paragraph (a) of this subsection.
[F2(6A)In carrying out such of their functions as relate to matters to which the functions of the Health and Safety Commission relate, the Board shall (without prejudice to subsection (7) below) act in consultation with the Commission and have regard to the Commission’s policies with respect to such matters.]
(7)In carrying out their functions the Board shall comply with any directions given to them by the Health Ministers; but those Ministers shall not give any direction to the Board except after consultation with the Atomic Energy Authority and the Medical Research Council.
[F3(7A)Without prejudice to subsection (6) or (7) above, it shall be the duty of the Board, if so directed by the Health Ministers, to enter into an agreement with the Health and Safety Commission for the Board to carry out on behalf of the Commission such of the Commission’s functions relating to ionising or other radiations (including those which are not electro-magnetic) as may be determined by or in accordance with the direction; and the Board shall have power to carry out any agreement entered into in pursuance of a direction under this subsection.
(7B)The requirement as to consultation in subsection (7) above shall not apply to a direction under subsection (7A).]
(8)Any functions of the Health Ministers under this Act may, by agreement between them, be exercised by any one of them acting on behalf of all; and, without prejudice to the foregoing provision, any one of them may, without the others, give directions to the Board under subsection (7) [F4or (10)][F5or (7A)] of this section in relation to such functions of the Board as are exercisable solely in a part of the United Kingdom with respect to which that Minister has responsibilities.
[F6(9)In carrying out such of their functions as relate to matters to which the functions of the Health and Safety [F7Executive] for Northern Ireland relate, the Board shall (without prejudice to subsection (7) above) act in consultation with the [F7Executive] and have regard to the opinion of the [F7Executive] with respect to such matters.
(10)Without prejudice to subsection (6) or (7) above, it shall be the duty of the Board, if so directed by the Health Ministers, to enter into an agreement with the Health and Safety [F7Executive] for Northern Ireland or, as the case may be, the Department concerned within the meaning of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, for the Board to carry out on behalf of the [F7Executive] or that Department such of the [F7Executive]’s or, as the case may be, that Department’s functions relating to ionising or other radiations (including those which are not electro-magnetic) as may be determined by or in accordance with the direction; and the Board shall have power to carry out any agreement entered into in pursuance of a direction under this subsection.
(11)The requirement as to consultation in subsection (7) above shall not apply to a direction under subsection (10).]
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