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The Environment Agency (EA) has a duty to ensure that the activities that it authorises do not cause an adverse effect on Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for sensitive habitats or Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for birds.  The EA is the regulatory body responsible for authorising discharges of radioactive waste to the environment under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993, and therefore needs to ensure that the discharges do not cause adverse effects to the integrity of SACs and SPASPAs.

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The EA, together with Natural England and the Countryside Council for Wales have concluded that 40 µGy/h is the threshold below which adverse effects on the integrity of SACs and SPAs will not occur.  Environmental radiological assessments are completed to ensure that discharges do not cause this dose rate threshold to be exceeded.  Full details of the assessment methodology are provided in the [Habitats Assessment for Radioactive Substances report|^SCHO0309BPML-e-e.pdf] \[1\] and are summarised as follows: