ARPANSA Welcomes IAEA Mission Report

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has acknowledged Australia’s commitment to nuclear safety in a report published June 2024.

The report outlines the findings of the October 2023 IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) follow-up mission to Australia. The mission reviewed progress in national, legal and governmental frameworks for nuclear and radiation safety since the 2018 IRRS mission.

ARPANSA Chief Executive Officer Dr Gillian Hirth AO welcomed the report, which found ARPANSA had addressed all previous recommendations for the agency. The IAEA also highlighted two areas of ‘good practice’ by ARPANSA, which it considers go above international best practice.

‘With the changing nuclear landscape it’s now even more important than ever that Australia has consistent and comprehensive regulation to protect people and the environment from any harmful effects of radiation,’ Dr Hirth AO said.

‘As the Australian Government’s primary authority on radiation protection, we promote consistent radiation protection for all Australians and comprehensive review of regulatory frameworks plays a critical role in delivering this vision.’

An IRRS mission is a valuable regulatory benchmarking exercise involving peer review by overseas experts against IAEA Safety Standards.

The IRRS team comprised seven international experts and three IAEA staff members, who worked together to review relevant reference material and interview ARPANSA, the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency and State and Territory regulatory bodies.

The report noted that substantial progress had been made in response to the 2018 IRRS mission findings across all Australian Government and State and Territory participants. Out of the 23 recommendations and 12 suggestions from 2018, 16 recommendations and 10 suggestions have been successfully addressed and closed.

The report was presented to the Australian Government and is now published on the ARPANSA website.

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