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 Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) is responsible for the establishment of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF). This fact sheet sets out ARPANSA’s role.

ARPANSA is responsible for the licensing of an NRWMF, such as that proposed by the ARWA.

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

Drawing on our extensive experience, our team of experts 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, security 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.

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