The Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA), the new Commonwealth agency overseeing the management of Australia’s radioactive waste, has started a search for its first Chief Executive Officer.
The CEO will be responsible for overall governance and performance, project management, policy leadership and strategic direction of the agency, as well as the siting, construction and operation of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF).
The NRWMF will be used for disposal of Australia’s legacy and future low-level radioactive waste, and also the temporary storage of our intermediate-level waste.
The vast majority of Australia’s radioactive waste stream is associated with nuclear medicine production that, on average, two in three Australians will benefit from during their lifetime.
Nuclear medicine is used in diagnosis of various heart, lung and muscular skeletal conditions, as well as treatment of specific types of cancer.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, the Hon Keith Pitt MP, said the government committed $103.6 million over four years to establish the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA).
“ARWA will need a CEO with a diverse background and a wealth of experience to lead the establishment of the agency and the work to meet the complex regulatory standards and the diversity of community expectations,” Mr Pitt said.
“The right person will help to establish a strong safety and security culture for ARWA, which in turn will build trust in the new agency.”
ARWA will oversee the first nationally coordinated approach to managing Australia’s radioactive waste.
With radioactive waste currently stored at over 100 locations around Australia, the establishment of the NRWMF is a priority.
“Australia has benefitted enormously from the production of nuclear medicine and nuclear research over the past 70 years, and we must take steps now to responsibly manage our waste,” Mr Pitt said.
“This facility will support the future growth of nuclear medicine in Australia and will provide new jobs and economic opportunities for a very supportive South Australian regional community.”
ARWA has engaged the recruitment firm Odgers Berndstson to lead the search for suitable candidates for the role.