|Licence holder||CSIRO Minerals Resources|
|Location inspected||Black Mountain site, Acton, ACT|
|Date of inspection||20 - 21 June 2023|
This is the record of an inspection conducted as part of ARPANSA’s source inspection program to assess compliance with the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 (the Act), the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Regulations 2018 (the Regulations), and conditions of source licence S0064.
The scope of the inspection included an assessment of performance at Black Mountain against the Source Performance Objectives and Criteria (SPOC). The inspection consisted of a review of records, interviews, and physical inspection of CMR sources at the site.
The role of CMR is to deliver cost effective exploration and the discovery of new mineral resources through advances and expertise in detection technologies, mineral systems, resource characterisation and data analysis. CMR is authorised under section 33 of the Act to deal with controlled apparatus and controlled material.
The main codes and standards applicable to this licence at the Black Mountain site are:
- RPS C-1 Code for Radiation Protection in Planned Exposure Situations (Rev 1) (2020)
- RPS C-2 (Rev 1) Code for the Safety Transport of Radioactive Material (2019)
- RPS C-6 Code for Disposal of Radioactive Waste by the User (2018)
- RPS 11 Code of Practice for the Security of Radioactive Sources (2019)
- Australian/New Zealand Standard Safety in Laboratories Part 4: Ionizing radiations (AS/NZS 2243.4:2018)
In general, the management of radiation safety at the CMR Black Mountain site in relation to the storage of controlled material was found to be sound.
CSIRO has demonstrated a commitment to radiation protection by establishing a policy to facilitate the safe and effective use, storage and disposal of radiation sources across all of its Business Units (BUs). This is supported by a comprehensive radiation protection plan (RPP) from which each BU extracts the relevant information for the controlled apparatus and controlled material dealings for that the given BU. These RPPs are in turn, supported by subordinate location or work specific documents, safe work instructions. Access to this information is available to all relevant staff via QR codes attached or immediately adjacent to the particular source.
Statutory and regulatory compliance
The overall RPP, CSIRO’s Plans and Arrangements, are written to ensure compliance with the Act, the Regulations and the conditions of the licences for each BU, including S0064.
The CMR Radiation Safety Officer (RSO (or BURSO)) coordinates information for quarterly reports combining that from each CMR site. Once collected, this information is consolidated into a single final report to ARPANSA. CMR quarterly reports have been submitted to ARPANSA in a timely manner in recent years, and contain relevant information, including details of compliance with the Act and Regulations.
Radiation protection and radioactive waste management including ultimate disposal or transfer
The radiation store contains many disused sealed and unsealed radioactive sources from six separate BUs, including CMR. All storage is in large, well-labelled containers and the SIW of each relevant BU, including CMR, itemises all sealed and unsealed radioactive sources within the store. Dose rates outside the store did not exceed the requirements of AS/NZS 2243.4 and were found to be not significantly above the background radiation dose rate.
Access to all CSIRO buildings at the Black Mountain site beyond the public areas is protected by an electronic access control system. The aggregation of all radioactive sources under CSIRO control at the site, including those in the store, do not invoke enhanced security requirements. The existing security measures were therefore considered appropriate.
Event protection and emergency preparedness and response are handled under the broader CSIRO policy and work health and safety plans and were not assessed during the inspection.
The licence holder was found to be in compliance with the requirements of the Act, the Regulations, and licence conditions.