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On 10 April 2022 the Australian Government assumed a caretaker role. The Government is now operating in accordance with the Caretaker Conventions, pending the outcome of the 2022 federal election. Information on Caretaker Conventions:

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility - Our role

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is the independent regulator of Commonwealth entities that use or produce radiation; this includes any Commonwealth organisation involved in radioactive waste management.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DoIIS) is responsible for the current National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) project. This fact sheet sets out ARPANSA’s role in the project.

ARPANSA is responsible for the licensing of any future NRWMF, such as that proposed by the DoIIS.

ARPANSA will only licence a NRWMF if we are confident that it would not have an adverse impact on human health or the environment.

We have the relevant expertise to make this decision. Drawing on our extensive experience, our team of experts, led by our CEO Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson, endeavour to protect the Australian community and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation.

ARPANSA’s regulatory approach for the assessment and licensing of the NRWMF:

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Independent and accountable
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Rigorous and evidence-based
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Globally-recognised expertise
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Experienced personnel
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Transparent processes
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Regulatory oversight

What you can expect from ARPANSA

  • As an agency within the Department of Health portfolio we act autonomously and are independent of the applicant and wider government interests. Our CEO is answerable and accountable to the Australian community through the Australian Parliament and is required by legislation to always act in the community’s interest and protect Australia from the harmful effects of radiation.
  • We are impartial with regards to a facility and we will manage our stakeholder engagement independently of other agencies and the applicant.
  • We will ensure the licensing process is undertaken with scientific rigour and evidence-based decisions, in keeping with international best practice.
  • We are a leading member of a global community of experts who are dealing with similar issues in their jurisdictions and via the United Nations. ARPANSA’s staff are globally-recognised experts in fields such as radiation protection, nuclear safety and radioactive waste management.
  • We are experienced in the licensing of waste facilities and have the in-house expertise to carry out this role with diligence and professionalism.
  • We will keep the community fully informed and engaged on all aspects of the process and our assessment and decisions. The licensing process will be transparent.
  • We will ensure the NRWMF meets regulatory requirements during all stages of the life of the facility, including siting, construction, operation, and decommissioning via our ongoing monitoring and inspection program.