31 May 2024

Australia joined with Kazakhstan to co-host last week’s International Conference on Nuclear Security (ICONS) in Vienna.

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) CEO, Dr Gillian Hirth, says ICONS is the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) key event for sharing best practice across the global nuclear security community. 

‘The IAEA’s efforts in bringing together its member states every four years provides a crucial opportunity to discuss and exchange information on nuclear security,’ Dr Hirth said. 

At ICONS 2024, ARPANSA joined with the Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office (ASNO) and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) to host a session sharing insights into national collaborative approaches. 

Australia’s continued support and engagement with the Asia Pacific to strengthen regional nuclear safety and security, and aspirations for the global future of nuclear security were key topics of discussion.

Dr Hirth also participated in a panel discussion, moderated by ARPANSA’s Senior Regulatory Officer on Nuclear and Radiological Security, Julie Murray, on shaping the future of nuclear security from a gender equality perspective. 

‘Australia is a strong advocate for gender parity; an important topic that I have a deep commitment to nurturing,’ Dr Hirth said.  

‘It was a pleasure to be able to share insights and highlight female technical experts and leaders who are making vital contributions to nuclear security.’

‘It is fundamental that we continue our work in advancing opportunities for women, particularly in leadership, as they are recognised key drivers in shaping our nuclear security future.’

‘ARPANSA continues to work closely with its Australian Government counterparts and the IAEA to promote national and international best practice to support nuclear security in our region and more broadly,’ Dr Hirth said.

The event was also an opportunity to establish ongoing connections with international counterparts, including a new cooperation agreement with the Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS) from the Netherlands.

ICONS 2024 was held at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna from 20 to 24 May 2024. 

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