Security of Radiological Material
ARPANSA’s Security and Community Safety (SCS) section is highly skilled, multi-disciplinary team who takes a ‘cradle to grave’ approach to the security of radioactive materials. SCS work to achieve national uniformity for the security of radioactive materials during their production, transportation, storage, use and eventual disposal.
National Security Arrangements and International Commitments
National Security Arrangements resulting from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Report
ARPANSA is responsible for implementing and coordinating the response to the Council of Australian Governments Report on the Regulation and Control of Radiological Material (COAG Report).
During 2006, COAG agreed to a National Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Security Strategy to provide a framework to strengthen and enhance Australia’s existing arrangements for chemical, biological, radiological material and nuclear security. In addressing the security of radiological materials, COAG agreed to a number of recommendations including the establishment of a national regulatory scheme for the storage, possession, use and transport of certain radiological materials to minimise the risk of such materials being misused by those with malicious intent.
IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources
In 2004 Australia formally commitment to the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and the supplementary Guidance on Imports and Exports (PDF 1.24mb). To facilitate the implementation of these commitments, ARPANSA became a Permit Issuing Agency on behalf of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service for radioactive substances.
Further information about the Import and Export of radioactive materials can be found at: Import and Export Permit Applications.
Code of Practice for the Security of Radioactive Sources
A significant achievement in response to the COAG report was the publication of the Code of Practice for the Security of Radioactive Sources (ARPANSA, 2007).
ARPANSA is working with state and territory governments and other Commonwealth agencies to implement the recommendations in the COAG report for the regulation and control of radiological material. Part of this assistance has been the provision of workshops in each State and Territory to raise awareness of the COAG report and assist state and territory licencees with implementation of the requirements of the Code of Practice for the Security of Radioactive Sources. For further information regarding assistance with the implementation of the Code of Practice, licencees should contact the relevant radiation regulator for their jurisdiction.
The Code of Practice sets out a graded approach for the security of sealed sources. That is, the stringency of the security measures to be applied is proportional to the inherent risk posed - this is a product of the assessed vulnerability to acquisition versus the modelled radiological consequences of malicious use. The Code of Practice groups sources into five categories and allocates security measures commensurate with the risk posed by the sources in each category (see Radioactive Sources: Use, Safety & Security (PDF 310kb) for background information on radioactive sources and the security categorisation of the sources). The Code of Practice is given force of law by each state and territory and the Commonwealth, and administered by the regulatory authority in each jurisdiction as part of the regulatory framework governing the use of radiation. The publication and implementation of the Code is one of the ways in which Australia is demonstrating its commitment to implement the IAEA Code of Practice for the Security of Radioactive Sources.
Practice Specific Security Guides
ARPANSA has also developed Security Guides to assist with implementation of the Code of Practice. The guides are available from radiation regulators in each jurisdiction. The Guides currently cover Category 1, 2 and 3 sources used in the following practices:
- blood irradiator
- panoramic industrial irradiator
- high dose rate brachytherapy
- research irradiator
- industrial radiography
- well logging
- fixed gauges
- moisture and density gauges
Guides for further practices are being developed and will also be available from radiation regulators. For further information regarding assistance with the implementation of the Code of Practice or to report information in relation to security breaches contact the relevant radiation regulator for your jurisdiction. To report information that may have national security implications, contact the National Security Hotline 1800 123 400.
For further enquiries about the information on this webpage contact SCS@arpansa.gov.au
National Radiation Security Advisors Accreditation Scheme
In 2013 ARPANSA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Attorney General’s Department Protective Security Training College to deliver a pool of Nationally Accredited Radiation Security Advisors. These advisors are being developed in order to increase jurisdictional capacity in radiation security advice and additionally, to ensure that radiation security practices are implemented in a manner that achieves nationally uniform and consistent approaches.
ARPANSA and PSTC have commenced training and assessing an initial pool of radiation security advisors who will be available to all jurisdictions to implement the Code of Practice across Australia. It is expected that a second course will commence late in 2014. For further information regarding this course, please contact ARPANSA’s Security and Community Safety team: SCS@arpansa.gov.au.
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