Australia punches above its weight in the international nuclear arena


On the international stage amongst the leading nuclear nations of the world, Australians hold its own. This status has been earned by ANSTO’s seventy-year history of safe nuclear operations, the application of nuclear science and technology to benefit society and nuclear stewardship role in Australia.

ANSTO’s role and experience has been recognised globally, including through a long association with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology.

Marina Francis
ANSTO’s Marina Francis Counsellor (Nuclear) Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the UN and International Organisations, Vienna

The importance of the relationship with the IAEA for Australia is reflected by the fact that ANSTO also maintains a Counsellor in Vienna in support of the Australian Permanent Mission to the IAEA.

The current Counsellor is Marina Francis, who delivered a statement to the IAEA Board of Governors and earlier this month, acknowledging the 70th anniversary of ANSTO.

Nuclear experts from ANSTO serve as Chairs of four influential committees. ANSTO proudly fulfils these roles and contributes to numerous other committees.

Australia’s nuclear expertise supports developing countries and collaborates with global partners for the benefit the global community. These engagements enable ANSTO to grow its nuclear expertise, learning from leading nuclear exponents and specialists.

ANSTO experts sit as Chair of the IAEA’s International Decommissioning Network, the International Low Level Waste Disposal Network (DISPONET), and the Standing Advisory Group for Nuclear Applications (SAGNA) and has just concluded tenure as Chair of the International Expert Group on Nuclear Liability (INLEX).

UN Vienna
The International Atomic Energy Agency and UN in Vienna

Throughout the year, ANSTO staff attend various committee meetings, act as expert advisors, participate in member networks, working groups and advisory groups and contribute to activities of regional cooperative agreements, pilot and project studies and outreach programs.

There is an important role in the Asia Pacific as part of the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology for Asia and the Pacific (RCA).

ANSTO leads Australia’s participation in the Coordinated Research Project on the Economic Appraisal of Small Modular Reactors and participates in technical working group on small and medium sized nuclear reactors.

Member network affiliations include the Network of Analytical Laboratories, Asian Network for Education in Nuclear Technology, and Network for Environmental Management and Remediation (ENVIRONET).

ANSTO is a member of the IAEA’s Advisory Group on Nuclear Security and the Technical Working Group on Research Reactors.

An ANSTO senior officer has served as a consultant to INPRO Collaboration Project Study on Cooperative Approaches to the Back End of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle.

With decades of experience handling nuclear waste from reactor operations and the production of nuclear medicine, ANSTO has represented Australia on the International Radioactive Waste Technical Committee (WATEC).

Education and Communications experts at ANSTO have played a key role in the supporting access to global resources to support the standards of secondary school education for nuclear science and technology (NST) and STEM through developing countries throughout the Asia Pacific Region. ANSTO has also supported the professional development of women in these professions globally.

More than (40) IAEA Fellows, scientific experts and high level Executives also travel to Australia and ANSTO hosts this visit providing tours of facilities, facilitating meetings and accommodating other needs.

ANSTO is also engaged with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD-NEA), an organisation of the world’s most “advanced nuclear nations”. It represents Australia on several of the NEA’s committees, including on the Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy and the Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Energy Development and the Fuel Cycle (NDC).

One of the strengths of the global nuclear community is its cohesion and commitment to use nuclear to benefit the world. ANSTO has represented Australia in this role for many decades.

ANSTO is hosting the IAEA’s 45th Regional Meeting of National Regional Cooperative Agreement representatives in Sydney in early May.

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