2 May 2024

The Australian Government hosted an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) workshop on nuclear security and how it contributes to peaceful uses of nuclear and radiological technology in Melbourne last week.

The Integrated Nuclear Security Sustainability Plan (INSSP) workshop focused on strengthening nuclear and radiological security in the Asia Pacific.  

The Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO), with support from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), hosted this IAEA workshop which included 40 participants and presenters from 20 countries.  

ARPANSA’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Gillian Hirth, said the workshop identified actions required to ensure a nation’s nuclear and radiological security regime is effective and sustainable.

‘As the Australian Government’s primary authority on radiation protection and nuclear safety, we support international efforts to coordinate nuclear safety and security,’ Dr Hirth said.

‘It was a pleasure to welcome participants to tour our laboratories and learn more about ARPANSA’s role in protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation.  

‘ARPANSA works closely with ASNO and the IAEA to promote national and international policies and practices that support nuclear and radiological security in our region and more broadly.’

ASNO Director General Dr Geoffrey Shaw said, strengthening nuclear security within Australia and the region is a core pillar of ASNO’s work. 

‘As the government agency responsible for implementing Australia’s nuclear and chemical non-proliferation treaty obligations, we work with multiple international partners to strengthen nuclear and radiological security culture in Australia, the Indo-Pacific region, and the globe.  And this has never been more important,’ Dr Shaw said. 

‘This week, alongside the IAEA, we were able to bring together people from 20 countries who graciously shared their diverse experiences and perspectives, current approaches, and strong commitment to nuclear security.  

'This means we are all in a better place to navigate the challenges and uncertainties that could impact nuclear security.  

'It means we are all better prepared for today and the future.’

The workshop is a key component of the IAEA nuclear security program, which supports global efforts for safe and responsible use of radiation. 

Australia will continue to work with the IAEA and its other member states to promote the safe use of radiation and align our activities and regulations with international best practice. 

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