National medical cyclotron

Background

The National Medical Cyclotron ceased operations in October 2009 after producing medical isotopes for application in nuclear medicine for a period of about 20 years.

Application to decommission

On Tuesday 30 November 2010, the CEO of ARPANSA held a public forum to receive submissions on the application from ANSTO for a facility licence to decommission the National Medical Cyclotron at Camperdown, NSW. The forum was held at the Darlington Centre, University of Sydney.

A notice advertising the public forum was placed in this website on 11 November 2010. A notice also appeared in the Inner West Courier on 23 November 2010.

Minutes of the public forum and presentations from ANSTO and ARPANSA are now available :

Invitation to make submissions

ARPANSA published an invitation to make submissions on ANSTO’s application for a facility licence to decommission the National Medical Cyclotron.

Under Regulation 40 of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Regulations 1999, the CEO of ARPANSA must, as soon as practicable after receiving an application for a facility licence, publish a notice in a daily newspaper circulating nationally and in the Gazette, that the CEO intends to make a decision on the application. If the application relates to a nuclear installation, the CEO must also include in the notice an invitation to make submissions about the application.

On 9 September 2010 the CEO of ARPANSA received an application from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) for a facility licence to decommission a nuclear facility, namely, the National Medical Cyclotron located at Missenden Road in Camperdown, New South Wales.

The National Medical Cyclotron (NMC) ceased operations in October 2009 after producing medical isotopes for application in nuclear medicine for about 20 years. The proposed decommissioning will involve the physical dismantling and removal of the facilities and equipment in the NMC. ANSTO has indicated that it plans to build a new medical cyclotron at the site but that will be the subject of a separate facility licence application in the future.

On 10 November the CEO published a notice in The Australian and the Australian Government Gazette that he intends to make a decision under section 32 of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 on the application from ANSTO and invited public submissions about the application. A similar notice was published in the Inner West Courier on 23 November that also announced the public forum. The period for submissions ended on 10 December 2010. The CEO will take all submissions into account before making a decision on the application. A copy of the application is available below.

If you require clarification about the public submission process please contact Mr Selva Kumar by email at nmc.submissionatarpansa.gov.au or telephone 02 9541 8326.

Submissions received

ARPANSA received three submissions, one of which was marked confidential, on the application to decommission the National Medical Cyclotron. The two publicly available submissions were:

ANSTO's application

ARPANSA licence application documents

SAC submission and supporting documents

CEO's decision

Following ARPANSA's receipt of three public submissions, the substantive comments made in all of the public submissions were sent to ANSTO for comment. On 16 December 2010 ANSTO provided a response to the substantive matters raised in the public submissions. A number of ARPANSA experts have reviewed the application and ANSTO's response to the public submissions and provided advice to the CEO of ARPANSA. The CEO of ARPANSA has dealt with the ARPANSA experts review and the content of the public submissions thematically in the context of the CEO of ARPANSA's decision.

As required by section 32 of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 (the Act), in making a decision the CEO of ARPANSA had regard to:

  • International best practice in radiation protection and nuclear safety in the context of decommissioning the Camperdown Facility
  • The content of public submissions made by the public in the context of this Application
  • Whether the information contained in the Application establishes that the proposed conduct of decommissioning the Camperdown Facility can be carried out without undue risk to the health and safety of people and to the environment
  • Whether the Applicant has shown that there is a net benefit from the conduct
  • Whether the Applicant has shown that the magnitude of individual doses, the number of people exposed, and the likelihood that exposure will happen are as low as reasonably achievable, having regard to social and economic factors
  • Whether the Applicant has shown a capacity for complying with these regulations and the licence conditions that would be imposed under section 35 of the Act
  • Whether the Application has been signed by an office holder of the Applicant.

After considering all of the information regarding the facility licence application by ANSTO to decommission the National Medical Cyclotron and the matters that formed the decision, pursuant to section 32 of the Act, the CEO of ARPANSA decided on 22 December 2010 to issue a facility licence (facility licence No. F0230) authorising the ANSTO to decommission the Camperdown Facility and National Medical Cyclotron subject to conditions imposed by the Act and the Regulations as well as the following:

  • The Licence Holder must provide a report of Stage 1 Decommissioning activities at the conclusion of Stage 1.
  • The Licence Holder must seek the prior approval of the CEO of ARPANSA before undertaking Stage 2 Decommissioning activities.
  • The Licence Holder must provide a report of Stage 2 Decommissioning activities at the conclusion of Stage 2.

The CEO of ARPANSA's decision letter and his statement of reasons and the facility licence F0230 are available below: