Regulation & Licensing

Major facilities

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ARPANSA regulates a number of nuclear installations and prescribed radiation facilities.

Regulation of these facilities requires significant and specialised resources. Licence applications are invariably large and complex, as are any subsequent safety submissions. Assessment of these applications and submissions requires coordination among technical experts from across the agency and, on occasion, involves the use of external consultants. Compliance monitoring activities such as planned inspections, also demand significant regulatory resources.

Following is a brief description of the major nuclear installations and prescribed radiation facilities regulated by ARPANSA:

Little Forest Legacy Site

The Little Forest Legacy Site (LFLS) is a site that was used for the near surface burial of low level radioactive waste. The facility was operational between 1960 and 1968.

The CEO of ARPANSA granted a licence to possess or control the Little Forest Legacy Site on 9 July 2015.

Further information can be found on the LFLS webpage.

OPAL Research Reactor

The OPAL (Open Pool Australian Lightwater) reactor is a 20 Megawatt water cooled research reactor. OPAL is Australia’s only operating research reactor and is located at the ANSTO Lucas Heights site in Sydney. The CEO of ARPANSA issued a licence to operate OPAL in July 2006.

Further information can be found on the OPAL reactor webpage.

Interim Waste Store

The Interim Waste Store (IWS) at ANSTO’s Lucas Height site in Sydney will be a purpose-built temporary storage facility to house intermediate level solid radioactive waste returning from France,, following reprocessing of spent fuel from HIFAR. The spent fuel sent to France years ago will return to Australia in an inert form in 2015. It is proposed that these wastes will be stored in the IWS until the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) is operational, at which time the waste will be transferred to that permanent facility. ARPANSA issued licences to operate the IWS on 8 May 2015.

More information can be found on the Interim Waste Store webpage.

Australian Synchrotron

The Australian Synchrotron comprises three prescribed radiation facilities including a linear accelerator and booster synchrotron operated by ANSTO in Clayton, VIC. The facility is used for research and development in the areas of advanced materials, biomedical science, defence, agriculture, food technology, environmental science, minerals, nano-technology, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and scientific instruments.

More information can be found on the Synchrotron webpage.

Australian Nuclear Medicine Molybdenum-99 Facility

The Australian Nuclear Medicine Molydenum-99 Facility (ANM Mo99) will be a purpose built radiopharmaceuticals production facility at the ANSTO Lucas Heights site in Sydney. This facility will ensure supplies of Mo-99 for the Australian market and will also have the capacity to export Mo-99 to help secure the future global supply. The CEO of ARPANSA issued a construction licence for the ANM Mo99 facility on 27 June 2014.

More information can be found on the Nuclear Medicine Molybdenum-99 Facility webpage.

Australian Synchrotron

The Australian Synchrotron comprises three prescribed radiation facilities including a linear accelerator and booster synchrotron operated by ANSTO in Clayton, VIC. The facility is used for research and development in the areas of advanced materials, biomedical science, defence, agriculture, food technology, environmental science, minerals, nano-technology, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and scientific instruments.

More information can be found on the Synchrotron webpage.

Synroc (SyMo) Waste Treatment Facility

The Synroc waste treatment plant is a proposed facility at the ANSTO Lucas Heights site in Sydney. It will be used to solidify intermediate level liquid waste from legacy ANSTO sources and from the ANM Mo99 facility.

Further information can be found on the Synroc webpage.

HIFAR Research Reactor

The High Flux Australian Reactor (HIFAR) was a 10 Megawatt research reactor that commenced operation in 1958. It was permanently shutdown on 30 January 2007 and the spent fuel and heavy water was subsequently removed. The CEO of ARPANSA issued a licence to ANSTO to possess and control HIFAR in September 2008.

Further information can be found on the HIFAR reactor webpage.

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