The UK nuclear industry uses seawater for both operational purposes and waste discharge. Atmospheric and direct radiation discharges also affect the surrounding coastal environment. The regulation of these discharges has undergone great changes in the last decade. This article begins by quantifying the composition of the discharges that occur. It then introduces the current legislative controls over radioactive discharges, concentrating on the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 and analyses the authorization framework implemented by the Environment Agency. Industry concerns with the current system are highlighted and their alternative analyzed. The Environment Agency’s response to these proposals and future authorization issues are highlighted.