2013 IAEA IPPAS mission to Australia

Key points
  • The mission to Australia was the 61st IPPAS mission conducted by the IAEA since the program began in 1995. Australia was the 39th country to host an IPPAS mission.
  • 9 recommendations and 23 suggestions which could enhance nuclear security were provided in the IAEA report. In addition, 8 good practices were identified during the mission.
  • Australian experts have participated in the conduct of eight IPPAS missions in other Member States over the past five years.
  • During the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs, announced that Australia would host a follow-up mission in 2017.

In November 2013, Australia hosted a two-week IAEA International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission. The mission reviewed Australia's nuclear security-related legislative and regulatory framework as managed by ASNO and ARPANSA and nuclear security systems at Australia's national nuclear facility operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).  Other agencies, including the Attorney General's Department, the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Federal Police also participated in the mission.

IPPAS missions are conducted on the request of IAEA member states in order to assist the strengthening of national security regimes. The missions call upon a team of international experts to provide peer review advice on implementing international instruments including the Amended CPPNM and IAEA guidance regarding nuclear security. The missions also compare State practices with international best practices and recommend improvement.  IPPAS missions produce a report that makes recommendations and suggestions and also point out good practices.

The IPPAS team visiting Australia comprised seven experts from six countries and from the IAEA. Their report set out nine recommendations twenty-three suggestions and identified eight good practices. The IPPAS team were impressed with the Australian Government's awareness of the importance of physical protection and their commitment to its further improvement and concluded that nuclear security within Australia has long been of a high standard and had been significantly enhanced in recent years.

The IPPAS mission report is posted here as a measure of transparency.  The Netherlands, Hungary and Canada have also posted their IPPAS mission reports. In keeping with prudent practice, portions of the report have been redacted to protect information that could prejudice the security of nuclear material or facilities.

Australia is now preparing to host a follow-up mission in 2017 that will address the recommendations and suggestions made in the 2013 report and also examine any developments in Australia's nuclear security regime. Most of the facility-based recommendations and suggestions have already been addressed.

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Last Updated: 27 September 2016