Key messages

  • There are mandatory legal requirements for the security of high-consequence sealed sources and high consequence groups of sealed sources to ensure that they cannot be misused.
  • The legal requirements intend to limit opportunities for, and enhance detection of, the illegal/unauthorised use of high-consequence sealed sources.

Potentially hazardous (high-consequence) radioactive sources must be secured, to ensure that they cannot be misused. Legislation aims to limit opportunities for, and enhance detection of, the illegal or unauthorised use of high consequence radioactive sources.

Radioactive material is used in many areas of medicine, industry, research and education. In the past, the focus of legislation controlling the use of radioactive material has been confined to protection of workers, the public and the environment. However, governments across the world have identified the need to secure potentially hazardous radioactive sources to ensure that these sources cannot be misused by those with malicious intent.

The department has recently replaced the licence condition relating to the security of 'security enhanced sources' as defined in the Code of Practice for the Security of Radioactive Sources. The new licence condition requires licence holders to comply with the requirements of the Radiation Act 2005 and the Radiation Regulations 2017. The new condition also references the following three documents:

Radioactive source security requirements

Approved assessors of security plans

A number of individuals have been approved by the Department as 'approved assessors' who can assess and approve security plans and transport security plans and issue certificates of compliance under section 67K of the Act.

Search for approved security assessors.

Possession of a high consequence sealed source or a high consequence group of sealed sources

The department requires applicants seeking to acquire a high consequence sealed source or a high consequence group of sealed sources to demonstrate that they have a security plan that has been approved by an approved assessor of security plans.

Transport of a high consequence sealed source or a high consequence group of sealed sources

Management licence holders who are authorised to transport a high consequence sealed source or a high consequence group of sealed sources as either 'private' carriers or 'contract' carriers are required to have a transport security plan that has been approved by an approved assessor of security plans.

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