Regulation & Licensing

International Best Practice/Trusted International Standards

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International Best Practice

The CEO of ARPANSA is required to take into account international best practice in relation to radiation protection and nuclear safety when making licensing decisions. Although the ARPANS Act does not define the term international best practice, the CEO has taken it into account by considering the codes, standards, fundamentals, recommendations and guides that are produced by the international organisations listed below. The publications produced by these organisations reflect an international consensus on what constitutes a high level of safety for protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation.

    United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR)
    UNSCEAR has a mandate to assess and report levels and effects of exposure to ionising radiation. Governments and organisations throughout the world rely on UNSCEAR’s estimates as the scientific basis for evaluating radiation risk and for establishing protective measures. (See

    International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
    The IAEA is the world's centre for cooperation in the nuclear field. The Agency works with its Member States (including Australia) to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies. The IAEA Safety Standards provide a system of Safety Fundamentals, Safety Requirements and Safety Guides. The IAEA also produces other guidance such as Technical Documents and International Nuclear Safety Group (INSAG) Reports.

    All IAEA documents are developed by an open and transparent process for gathering, synthesising and integrating the knowledge and experience gained from the actual use of nuclear technologies and from the application of the safety standards, including knowledge of emerging trends and issues of regulatory importance. (See

    World Health Organisation (WHO)
    The WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, including shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. It publishes guidelines and recommendations on health policies and clinical interventions. In terms of radiation protection, the WHO publishes guidelines on indoor radon, radiation in drinking water and radionuclides in food. There are also publications on radiation emergencies and information on the radiation accidents in Chernobyl and Fukushima. (See

    International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)
    The ICRP is an independent organisation that advances for the public benefit the science of radiological protection, in particular by providing recommendations and guidance on all aspects of protection against ionising radiation. (See

    International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNRP)
    ICNIRP is a body of independent scientific experts who provide information and advice on the potential health hazards from exposure to non-ionising radiation. Much of ICNIRP’s guidance is published in the form of scientific reviews and reports and the proceedings of scientific meetings. (See

Trusted International Standards (TIS)

In late 2014, the Australian Government adopted the principle that: if a system, service or product has been approved under a trusted international standard or risk assessment, then our regulators should not impose any additional requirements for approval in Australia, unless it can be demonstrated that there is a good reason to do so. (See

ARPANSA applies the Australian Government’s trusted international standards policy. By applying this policy, ARPANSA aims to avoid duplication and confusion, promote efficiency and uniformity, and eschew unnecessary regulatory burden. This approach accomplishes these goals through greater acceptance of proven international standards and promotion of national uniformity.

Although the Australian Government’s policy focuses on trusted international standards, ARPANSA’s application of this policy is to all codes, standards, fundamentals, and guides that are produced by relevant international agencies. Note that ‘standards’ is a generic term for any type of document, which is listed in the Trusted International Standards Register (see below).

ARPANSA has consulted with the Radiation Health Committee and the Nuclear Safety Committee on the use of trusted international standards in the promotion of nationally uniform regulation of radiation safety in Australia.

Australian representatives on international committees that are involved in the development of codes, standards, fundamentals, and guides will ensure that Australia’s interests are adequately taken into account during the document development stages. Draft documents will be placed in the ARPANSA website for stakeholder comments to ensure that Australia-specific needs, if any, are taken into account before an international code, standard or requirement is published.

TIS Register

This Register provides the URL links to trusted international standards that may be relied on directly where relevant and applicable.

Note 1: As Australia has a federal system of government, any reference in the material listed below to ‘State’ should be taken to mean the jurisdiction in which the guidance material will be used. References to the word ‘national’ such as in ‘national government’, ‘national framework’, ‘national policy’, ‘national legislation’, ‘national regulations’, or similar, in IAEA publications should also be taken, where appropriate, to mean the mean the jurisdiction in which the guidance material will be used.

Note 2: Where a separate Australian publication has been produced on the basis of a document listed in the Register, this will be indicated.

An existing RPS or RHS publication will remain in force until an equivalent international document is incorporated by reference into the register, at which point the publication will be superseded through a notice on the Publications page of the ARPANSA website.

Ionising Radiation Safety (IAEA Safety Standards)

  1. Governmental, Legal and Regulatory Framework - Safety Infrastructure
  2. Management Systems
  3. Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources; Remediation
  4. Safety Assessment
  5. Radioactive Waste Management
  6. Decommissioning & Remediation
  7. Emergency Preparedness and Response
  8. Site Evaluation
  9. Nuclear Power Plants
  10. Research Reactors
  11. Fuel Cycle Facilities
  12. Radioactive Waste Disposal Facilities
  13. Transport of Radioactive Material

Non-ionising Radiation Safety (ICNIRP Guidelines)

  1. Optical Radiation
  2. Radiofrequency
  3. ELF
  4. Ultrasound

Security (IAEA Nuclear Security Series)

  1. Security of Nuclear Material
  2. Security of Radioactive Material
  3. Security of Material out of Regulatory Control

Additional Guidance

  1. Management of Nuclear Security
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