A team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts today completed a mission to review nuclear security practices in Australia.
The IAEA conducted the two-week International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission at the request of the Government of Australia. The mission reviewed the country’s nuclear security-related legislative and regulatory framework, physical protection systems at Australia’s only nuclear facility — a research reactor operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) — and security arrangements applied to the transport of nuclear and other radioactive materials.
Kristóf Horváth from Hungary led the IAEA team, which included seven experts from six countries and the IAEA. In Sydney, the team met officials from the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO), the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), ANSTO and other government agencies. They also visited the ANSTO facility located at Lucas Heights, Sydney.
“The development and expansion of nuclear power programmes and other nuclear applications in Member States require a strong commitment to nuclear security,” said the IAEA’s Director of the Office of Nuclear Security, Khammar Mrabit, who opened the mission. “The example set by Australia and by the other 38 States that have hosted IPPAS missions, illustrates the value of the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Guidance for improving global nuclear security, and in particular physical protection.”
The IPPAS team concluded that nuclear security within Australia has long been of a high standard and has been significantly enhanced in recent years. The team also identified a number of good practices at the country’s nuclear facility, and provided some recommendations and suggestions to assist Australia in the continuing improvement of nuclear security.
“Australia has a strong desire to learn from best practices of other nations and build confidence, domestically and internationally, in Australia’s nuclear security arrangements,” said Robert Floyd, Director General of ASNO. “We will seriously consider the recommendations and suggestions of the final report.”