Part 1: CEO Foreword
I am pleased to present to you the 2015-16 Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) Annual Report.
I was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of ARPANSA in 2010 making this my seventh annual report for the agency.
As I reflect upon this past year I see the vast developments and improvements that have been made by the agency in our efforts to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation. The expansion of the Australian National Radiation Dose Register for occupationally exposed persons, and the implementation of new technology for personal radiation monitoring have been considerable milestones for us.
We have also maintained high accuracy and reliability of Australia’s radiation monitoring stations and laboratories under the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. The development of enhanced capabilities for responding to radiation and nuclear threats and emergencies position us well should the event arise.
Effective communication and stakeholder engagement features highly in our daily activities. Our ‘Talk to a Scientist’ program continues to grow and offer opportunities for the Australian community to speak with our scientists and to understand how radiation plays a part in their daily lives. Work is underway to redevelop our website, which will deliver a modern, responsive, easy to navigate and user-focused experience for our stakeholders.
We have commenced engagement and interaction with the community in relation to the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF), with an emphasis on explaining ARPANSA’s role as the independent regulator.
In a separate process, our expert advice contributed to the submission from the Australian Government in relation to the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.
We undertake significant international engagement and work closely with organisations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, and the International Commissions on Radiological Protection and Non-Ionising Radiation Protection. Our staff are frequently requested to participate in or lead international activities under our international engagement plan.
In accordance with the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998, ARPANSA is required to regulate all Commonwealth entities that use or produce radiation. We work jointly with states and territories to develop policies and standards for national implementation that are based upon international best practice.
With international best practice in mind, arrangements are underway for ARPANSA to receive a visiting IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission in 2018. In preparation for this visit, ARPANSA will undertake a complete self-assessment of our activities, in particular as they relate to policies and practices in regulation of sources and radiation and nuclear facilities, during the next financial year. We are working closely with a number of states and territories to broaden the scope so a true national review of regulatory practices in Australia can take place.