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IAEA Completes Nuclear Security Advisory Mission in Australia

Sydney, Australia

(Photo: Lachlan Fearnley)

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts today completed a nuclear security advisory mission in Australia, which was carried out at the request of the Australian Government.

The scope of the two-week International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) follow-up mission included responses to the recommendations of the initial mission in 2013, changes in the Commonwealth legislative and regulatory framework for nuclear security, and computer security. Australia’s implementation of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) was also reviewed.

The IPPAS team visited the Lucas Height Campus of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, including the Open Pool Research Reactor and the newly established Nuclear Medicine Facility.

The team observed that the nuclear security regime in Australia is well established and incorporates the fundamental principles of the amended CPPNM. The team provided recommendations and suggestions to support Australia in enhancing and sustaining nuclear security. Good practices were identified that can serve as examples to other IAEA Member States to help strengthen their nuclear security activities.

The team, led by Patrick Adams, Senior Adviser at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, included six other experts from Germany, Philippines, Serbia, the United States and the IAEA. The team met in Sydney with officials from the Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office (ASNO), the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, and the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

“Australia’s example in applying IAEA Nuclear Security guidance and using IAEA advisory services clearly demonstrates its strong commitment to nuclear security and its enhancement,” said Kristof Horvath, Senior Nuclear Security Officer at the IAEA.

“IPPAS missions are an important tool in strengthening the global nuclear security regime and providing the advice to enable Australia to continue implementing nuclear security to high standards,” said Robert Floyd, Director General of ASNO. “Although Australia's' nuclear security is already considered of a high standard, I greatly appreciate the input of the experts in the IPPAS mission providing their recommendations for further improvement. With nuclear security there is no room for complacency.”


The mission was the 80th IPPAS mission conducted by the IAEA since the programme began in 1995. Australia hosted its first IPPAS mission in 2013.

IPPAS missions are intended to help States strengthen their national nuclear security regime. The missions provide peer advice on implementing international instruments, along with IAEA guidance on the protection of nuclear and other radioactive material and associated facilities.

During missions a team of international experts observes a nation's system of physical protection, compares it with international good practices and makes recommendations for improvement. IPPAS missions are conducted both on a nationwide and facility-specific basis.

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