Radiation exposure compensation claims

Updated: October 8, 2018


In the UK, radioactive and nuclear waste is strictly controlled. Few opportunities for radiation exposure to occur exist in day-to-day life. Those individuals who do sustain radiation sickness are most often found to have been exposed to the radioactive material through their occupation.

Radiation exposure can be categorised into two types: high intensity, acute radiation, and low level, chronic radiation. Most commonly radiation sickness occurs due to low level, chronic radiation exposure. Symptoms may not develop for years or even decades after exposure. Symptoms of radiation exposure include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Symptoms associated with failing blood count including infection and bleeding
  • Cancer
  • Neurological effects

If you have been exposed to radiation which has led to the development of any of the above symptoms, you may have ground to make a claim for hazardous substances exposure.

Investigating radiation exposure
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Do I have a radiation exposure claim?

If you were injured following radiation exposure in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

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How does radiation exposure occur?

Radiation exposure most commonly occurs when working with nuclear or radioactive machinery or materials. This could include:

  • X-rays and medical machinery
  • Working within the nuclear energy industry
  • Working within the nuclear weapons industry
  • Nuclear explosions
  • Escape of radioactive waste

Employers have a duty of care to keep their employees safe from unnecessary harm. Some roles and some workplaces are inherently dangerous, but employers have a duty to ensure the risks are minimised wherever possible.

If radiation exposure occurs due to defective machinery, insufficient safety training or improper protective equipment, the employer may be found to have been negligent. Compensation claims may be made through the Courts, but there is an alternative option for some employees, known as the Compensation Scheme for Radiation Linked Diseases (CSRLD).

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What is the CSRLD?

The CSRLD is a scheme that was set up between a number of companies within the nuclear industry and their employees unions in order to settle radiation exposure compensation claims outside of the usual Court process. It was established in 1982 with British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL). Since then a number of other companies have joined the CSRLD scheme, including:

  • United Kingdom Anatomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
  • Urenco (Capenhurst) Ltd
  • Maghox Electric
  • Nuclear Electric and Scottish Nuclear Ltd (SNC)
  • The Ministry Of Defence (MOD)
  • Anatomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)
  • Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd (DRDL)
  • Rosyth Royal Dockyard Ltd (RRD)
  • Babock Naval Services
  • GE Healthcare

The nuclear workers compensation scheme has been in operation for 23 years, and has processed over 1200 claims, awarding a total of £5.3million in claims. The scheme gives access to legal advice and to people who might not otherwise have the means.

The majority of successful claims have been below the 50% causation probability - meaning that in normal court proceedings they would be unlikely to result in a successful compensation claim.

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Can I claim through the CSRLD scheme?

In order to make a compensation claim through the scheme, you must:

  • Have been employed by one or more of the scheme employers or predecessor companies
  • Have experienced occupational radiation exposure with a scheme employer
  • Be a member of a scheme trade union (unless employed by the MOD or HM Forces)
  • Have been diagnosed with a disease associated with radiation exposure.
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What can be claimed for?

As with any compensation claim, the factors taken into account will include:

  • Pain and suffering caused
  • Loss of enjoyment of hobbies, sports and other amenities
  • Age
  • Income lost due to incapacitation
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How much compensation can I claim for radiation exposure?

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

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Meet the team

The nationwide panel of Quittance solicitors carry out the legal work for all types of industrial disease claim, from relatively minor claims to serious, long-term injury. Our solicitors are selected on the basis of their specialist knowledge and their track record in winning cases.

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Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Tim Fieldhouse Industrial Disease Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

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