2011-12 Annual Report - Part 2: Agency Overview

Part 2 - Agency Overview

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Agency overview

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is a statutory office holder under the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 (ARPANS Act). The ARPANS Act allows the CEO to engage staff to assist the CEO perform his statutory functions. Together, the CEO and staff constitute a statutory agency for the purposes of the Public Service Act 1999 and a prescribed agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 within the Health and Ageing portfolio. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health has ministerial responsibility for ARPANSA.

The CEO has statutory responsibility to make regulatory decisions in relation to facilities and controlled material and apparatus of Australian Government departments, agencies, statutory authorities, bodies corporate, government business enterprises and Commonwealth contractors and to provide advice and services consistent with the protection of the health and safety of people, and the protection of the environment, from the harmful effects of radiation.

The Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council (the Council), the Radiation Health Committee (RHC) and the Nuclear Safety Committee (NSC) established by the ARPANS Act provide advice to the CEO. The Council identifies emerging issues relating to radiation protection and nuclear safety, examines matters of major concern to the community in relation to radiation protection and nuclear safety, and advises on the adoption of recommendations, policies, codes and standards in relation to radiation protection and nuclear safety.

The RHC advises on matters relating to radiation protection, including formulating draft national policies, codes and standards for consideration by the Commonwealth, states and the territories.

The NSC advises on matters relating to nuclear safety and the safety of controlled facilities, including developing and assessing the effectiveness of standards, codes, practices and procedures.

ARPANSA is the national centre for excellence in radiation protection and nuclear safety. The agency:

  • promotes uniformity of radiation protection and nuclear safety policy and practices across jurisdictions of the Commonwealth, the States and the Territories
  • regulates the Commonwealth's use of radiation and nuclear technology
  • provides advice on radiation protection, nuclear safety and related issues
  • undertakes research in relation to radiation protection, nuclear safety and medical exposures to radiation
  • provides services relating to radiation protection, nuclear safety and medical exposures to radiation
  • accredits persons with technical expertise for the purposes of the ARPANS Act
  • advises the government and the community about radiation protection and nuclear safety
  • undertakes scientific research and provides services in the field of radiation protection
  • represents Australia in international forums that develop new principles and practices in radiation protection and nuclear safety.

Organisational structure

Offices and branches within ARPANSA

ARPANSA has six offices/branches with staff located at Miranda in New South Wales, Yallambie in Victoria, and Barton in the Australian Capital Territory.

The Legal Office includes Legal Advice and Corporate Compliance, with staff located in Sydney and Melbourne.

The Corporate Office includes Finance, People & Culture, Information Technology & Management and Technical Service, with staff located in Sydney and Melbourne.

The CEO Office includes Planning & Integration, Government & International Liaison, Project Coordination & Support, Communication & Education Support and Quality Management, with staff located in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

The Operations Services Branch includes Security & Community Safety, Best Practice Regulation, Compliance & Enforcement and Safety Analysis, with staff located in Sydney and Melbourne.

The Radiation Health Services Branch includes Monitoring and Emergency Response, Environmental & Public Health, Non-ionising Radiation, Occupational Exposure and Personal Radiation Monitoring Service, with staff located in Melbourne.

The Medical Radiation Services Branch includes Diagnostic Imaging & Nuclear Medicine, Radiotherapy, and the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service, with all staff located in Melbourne.

ARPANSA senior executive

Carl-Magnus Larsson

CEO of ARPANSA – Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson

Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson commenced as Chief Executive Officer of ARPANSA in March 2010 with a background in chemistry and biology and a PhD in Botany from Stockholm University, Sweden. Prior to his appointment to ARPANSA, Carl-Magnus worked at the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority focussing on environmental aspects of nuclear power. Carl-Magnus coordinated the multinational European Commission-supported research projects FASSET and ERICA (both on environmental assessment and protection) between 2000 and 2007 and he has been a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's Nuclear Energy Agency Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) and the chair of the RWMC-Regulators' Forum. He is vice-chair of Committee 5 of the International Commission on Radiological Protection and vice-chair of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). He is a member of the IAEA Commission on Safety Standards.

Martin Reynolds

Legal Office – Acting Corporate Counsel, Martin Reynolds

Martin Reynolds was appointed as acting Corporate Counsel and Head of the Legal Office in August 2011. Prior to his current appointment, Martin was Corporate Governance Officer at ARPANSA since 2008. Martin has had many years experience in both legal and senior management roles in government statutory authorities. Martin was trained as a lawyer at Monash University and also holds a Bachelor of Business (Management) from the same university.

The Legal Office provides legal advice and strategic support to the agency with regard to all aspects of the agency's operations and to assist the CEO to achieve his statutory mandate. Using a client-focused approach, the Legal Office delivers agency specific legal advice as well as advice on developing legislation, codes and standards and national uniformity projects and specialised support to the development of regulatory guidance and material for ARPANSA's licence holders. The Legal Office also delivers accountability and assurance services to assist the agency to meet its obligations under applicable statutory frameworks and the Government's financial management frameworks. This includes internal audit, Work Health and Safety, Strategic Management Committee and Audit and Risk Committee support, Certificate of Compliance process and quality management.

George Savvides

Corporate Office – Office Head, George Savvides

George Savvides was appointed Head of the Corporate Office upon its creation in May 2011. He also holds the role of Chief Financial Officer. Prior to his current appointment, George had many years experience in senior Finance roles in both the private and not-for-profit sectors, including Oakton Limited, Melbourne Football Club, Melbourne Health, Powercor Telecommunications and Ansett Australia. George is a Certified Practicing Accountant with an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

ARPANSA's Corporate Office is responsible for providing support to ARPANSA's key activities by creating the most effective environment enabling and encouraging excellence in research, policy, advice, regulation and the utilisation of knowledge. Corporate Office is made up of Finance who manage the agency's financial transactions to ensure compliance with the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. Information Management delivers ARPANSA's computer network, telecommunications, database/ system development, records management, library services, web support, publications and multimedia production. People & Culture manage ARPANSA's recruitment, pay and conditions for staff, including workplace policies and our enterprise agreement. It also develops training programs, workforce planning and advice regarding people management practices. Technical Services provides mechanical/electronic engineering support to the agency and is responsible for ensuring the maintenance of the Yallambie property facility.

Ian Graham

CEO Office – Acting Office Head, Ian Graham

Ian Graham was appointed Acting Head of the Office of the CEO in August 2011 when the Office was established. Ian joined ARPANSA in 2007 as Manager, Regulatory Systems and has acted as Branch Head, Regulatory & Policy Branch and later Operations Services and Branch Head for Corporate Services Branch for extended periods. Ian has a long regulatory background and was formerly the CEO of the Office of the Chief Electrical Inspector in Victoria and a non-executive Director of the National Standards Body, Standards Australia. Ian is a fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia and of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

The CEO Office is responsible for agency-wide facilitation of planning and coordination, liaison with Government and other major stakeholders, international liaison, risk and project management and the establishment of a quality framework. It is also responsible for managing ARPANSA's external communications, public relations and educational activities and internal communications at a strategic corporate level. The CEO Office is the point of contact with the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing and the Portfolio Department to ensure that ARPANSA's advice is timely and relevant. The CEO Office also routinely engages with our stakeholders and manages media inquiries.

Martin Dwyer

Operations Services – Branch Head, Martin Dwyer

Martin Dwyer was appointed as Branch Head of Operations Services in August 2011. Prior to his current appointment, Martin was an engineer with a career in the teaching hospital system which culminated in his role as Director of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics at Canberra Hospital. Martin has extensive experience with Australian Standards and currently chairs the Accreditation Board for Standards Development Organisations and was previously a member of Standards Australia's Council. He has also held significant roles in professional organisations, including as chair of the College of Biomedical Engineers and as Director, Engineering Practice with Engineers Australia.

The Operations Services Branch is responsible for Commonwealth regulatory activities including licensing, compliance, inspection and enforcement.

The branch is responsible for assessment of incidents and accidents, as well as normal licence holder operations, from technical, managerial, human and organisational perspectives, and an incident register is maintained to support such analyses. Operations Services is ARPANSA's principal driver for establishing a uniform regulatory framework across all jurisdictions, through the Radiation Health Committee. It also supports the Radiation Health & Safety Advisory Council and the Nuclear Safety Committee. Security and Community Safety also fall within the responsibility of the branch. In this area, as in other areas of responsibility, the branch collaborates with other branches and offices as appropriate.

Stephen Solomon

Radiation Health Services – Acting Branch Head, Stephen Solomon

Stephen Solomon has been Acting Branch Head of Radiation Health Services since its creation in May 2011. Prior to his current appointment, Stephen was Manager Health Physics Section, Envrionmental and Radiation Health Branch, ARPANSA. Stephen has a PhD in Nuclear Physics and has over thirty years experience in health physics and radiation protection. He leads and coordinates ARPANSA activities as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Radiation Protection and as a member of WHO Radiation Emergency Medical Preparedness & Assistance Network. Stephen is currently the Leader of Expert Group C (Assessment of doses and risk to humans and biota) and a member of the Coordination Expert Group for the UNSCEAR assessment Levels and Effects of Radiation Exposure due to the Nuclear Accident after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Radiation Health Services Branch ensures the protection of the public, workers and the environment from natural and man-made sources of ionising and non-ionising radiation by:

  • maintaining systems for the measurement of radioactivity in people and the environment and works to develop frameworks for the radiation protection of the environment and associated public health
  • supporting Australian radiation emergency preparedness and response to nuclear radiological emergencies
  • monitoring and providing advice on population exposures to non-ionising radiation by measuring personal and occupational exposure to solar UVR, artificial UVR sources, electricity (ELF) and radiofrequency (RF) radiation
  • advising on radiation protection for occupational health and safety exposure from man-made and naturally occurring ionising radiation
  • providing a Personal Radiation Monitoring Service to monitor the exposures of workers in the medical, dental, chiropractic, industrial and mining fields to ionising radiation.

Peter Johnston

Medical Radiation Services – Branch Head, Peter Johnston

Professor Peter Johnston was appointed as Branch Head of the Medical Radiation Services Branch upon its creation in May 2011. Prior to that Peter was Branch Head of ARPANSA's Environmental and Radiation Health Branch since 2009. Peter worked at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) for 20 years commencing as a Lecturer, progressing to become Professor of Applied Nuclear Physics in 2001 and Head of Physics in 2003; he remains an Adjunct Professor at RMIT. During this period, Peter had several ministerial and government appointments and was a member of the Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy Review in 2006. Peter first joined the Australian Radiation Laboratory at Yallambie (now ARPANSA) in 1979 and worked in Radioactivity Standards, Environmental Radioactivity and Health Physics for ten years. Peter has extensive experience in providing advice on environmental radiation matters including the contamination and rehabilitation of Maralinga, radiation protection issues in uranium mining as well as in the medical use of radiation.

Medical Radiation Services Branch is responsible for radiation protection in medicine and its mandate is based on the idea that all procedures involving radiation exposure of patients must be justified so that the procedure is appropriate in relation to alternatives and is likely to be beneficial to the patient. Medical Radiation must also be optimised to ensure that the procedure is implemented with minimal dose (diagnostic imaging) or harm (therapy) to the patient while maintaining efficacy. The work of this branch focuses upon the following outcomes:

  • That radiotherapy delivers the correct dose to the correct location and spares other tissues.
  • That clinically adequate images which beneficially affect patient management are generated with minimal dose.
  • The importance of effective communication and interaction between ARPANSA, state and territory agencies, medical profession and other professional bodies, patients and carers.

 

Our people

At 30 June 2012 ARPANSA employed a total of 153 staff. An organisation chart is provided at PDF iconOrganisational chart 2011-12 (PDF 128kb).

Outcome and program structure

For the 2011-12 budget year, ARPANSA's activity, resource and performance reporting fell under the outcome – Protection of people and the environment through radiation protection and nuclear safety research, policy, advice, codes, standards, services and regulation.

The stated major activities contributing to the program reported in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2011-12 aim to:

  • protect the public and environment from radiation exposure
  • limit workers' exposure to radiation
  • promote the effective use of ionising radiation in medicine
  • ensure radiological and nuclear security and emergency preparedness
  • develop and implement regulatory systems; and
  • ensure compliance with regulation.

A report on the planned performance against these activities is provided in Part 3 of this report.

Stakeholder engagement

ARPANSA has a broad range of stakeholders across various sections of the community. We partner with and provide services and products for an extensive range of Commonwealth, state and local government departments and agencies, including those associated with radiation protection, nuclear safety, emergency management and medical exposures to radiation. The general public is one of our key stakeholders and in this financial year, we consulted the public on issues including the safe use of lasers in schools and the safe transport of radioactive materials. Table 1 sets out our stakeholder engagement activities for 2011-12.

Table 1: Stakeholder engagement
Date Stakeholder Engagement
July-Sept 2011 ARPANSA established a joint working group with the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office and other relevant Commonwealth agencies in order to develop and assess the protective security criteria (licence requirements) for the periodic safety review of the OPAL Research Reactor.
August 2011 ARPANSA released a draft safety guide on the use of lasers in schools for public consultation on its website.
October 2011 ARPANSA staff attended the Australasian Radiation Protection Society with presentations on naturally occurring radioactive materials, monitoring, modelling and dose assessment and Australia's response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident.
November 2011 ARPANSA's 6th Licence Holder Forum with the topic of 'Holistic safety assessments' held at Victoria Barracks, Department of Defence, Melbourne and attended by 15 licensee organisations.
November 2011 ARPANSA begins publishing inspection reports on the ARPANSA website for the first time receiving strong support from licensees.
February 2012 ARPANSA released a draft safety guide on approvals for the safe transport of radioactive materials for public consultation on its website.
March 2012 ARPANSA hosted a seminar on the Japan Nuclear accident at Australian Federal Police Headquarters in Canberra which was well attended by key Commonwealth agencies.
March 2012 ARPANSA and the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism jointly sponsored an Environmental Risk from Ionising Contaminants: Assessment and Management Workshop held in Melbourne and Perth which was well attended by Commonwealth agencies, state regulators and industry.
April 2012 ARPANSA hosted a meeting of the Electromagnetic Energy Reference Group which included representatives from community groups, industry and government to discuss the health impact of electromagnetic radiation from telecommunication sources.
June 2012 The CEO of ARPANSA delivered a presentation to Sutherland Shire Council describing ARPANSA's roles and responsibilities as a Commonwealth regulator of radiation sources, facilities and nuclear installations which focused upon the expected application by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation for the siting and construction of an interim radioactive waste store to be built at Lucas Heights for the return of waste from spent fuel reprocessing in 2015 from the United Kingdom and France.
June 2012 ARPANSA presented an update on work programs for radiation protection of the environment to the Uranium Council meeting held in Adelaide and reported that stage one of the project Concentration Ratios for Non-Human Biota inhabitating Australian Uranium Mining Environments has been completed.
June 2012 The first annual Australian National Radiation Dose Register workshop held in Adelaide and attended by key stakeholders including uranium industry representatives, Commonwealth/state/territory regulators and other industry experts to discuss progress, methodologies used for radiation dose assessments and plans for improvement of the Dose Register.