Through ANSTO, Australia is leader in nuclear forensics science supporting global nuclear security


On behalf of Australia, ANSTO, the only nuclear reactor facility in the country, supports the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to undertake its role in facilitating national, regional, and international efforts to enhance nuclear security, including measures to protect against nuclear terrorism.

The IAEA provides a strong, sustainable, and visible framework to Member States to help policymakers and experts worldwide to improve nuclear security, manage radioactive sources, and prevent and detect material out of regulatory control.

In October this year, the IAEA celebrated the 25th Anniversary of its Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, which provides significant support to Member States.

At the international level, the legal foundation for nuclear security consists of legally binding international instruments and internationally accepted non-binding instruments.

In practice, the security of nuclear and radioactive materials is supported by technical capabilities, such as nuclear forensic science.

In association with the IAEA, ANSTO supports nuclear security in Australia, the Asia-Pacific Region, and around the world, by providing international leadership in nuclear forensic science.

At the Lucas Heights campus, ANSTO operates a nuclear forensics facility staffed with experts in radiochemistry and forensic science. This facility is equipped to undertake the forensic analysis of confiscated samples.

The team also conducts research into methods to determine the origin of radioactive materials, decontamination, and examination of contaminated evidence.

Forensics staff provide education, training, and exercise support to Australian emergency response agencies that may have to attend crime scenes potentially contaminated with radioactive materials.

Sharing expertise in specialist areas is an important part of promoting nuclear security

Forensics workshop

international participants who attended the Nuclear Forensics Regional Training Course at ANSTO in 2019

In both 2017 and 2019, ANSTO hosted the IAEA's Practical Introduction to Nuclear Forensics Regional Training Course for representatives of member countries from South-East Asia.

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