Generations of change

Board 2014_Dr Adi Paterson
Dr Adi Paterson

The year 2013 is a significant milestone for Australian science. It is 60 years since the passing of The Atomic Energy Act 1953: The Australian Atomic Energy Commission followed and in 1987 the AAEC evolved into the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) – globally respected nuclear science and technology organisation. 
A lot has changed over the past 60 years and ANSTO has been instrumental in helping to shape the landscape of Australian science in partnership with a growing and dynamic university and industrial arena.   
Today’s instruments, including the OPAL research reactor – one of the best of its kind in the world – as well as a suite of neutron beam instruments, particle accelerators, the cyclotron for medical research and the Australian Synchrotron, would have been a dream for any budding scientist back then wanting to see inside materials and better understand the world around us. 
Today, not only do Australian researchers have access to some of the best tools to perform their essential work, but because of these tools are able to connect to some of the most powerful science and innovation organisations around the globe, such as CERN, which is helping to answer fundamental questions about our universe and how it began. 
Every Australian can get a glimpse of the direct benefits of nuclear science and technology, because, every day, patients and their families are benefiting from nuclear medicines that originate from ANSTO.  
Molybdenum-99 produced by ANSTO is the main starter-material in 80% of nuclear medicines used for the diagnosis of heart disease and a wide range of cancers. Its applications include everything from bone oncology, to neurology, to diagnosing kidney and heart disease and gastrointestinal problems without the OPAL reactor we would be dependent on a currently unreliable global supply system. 
ANSTO’s 60th anniversary provides an opportunity for all Australians to engage and celebrate the important contribution nuclear science and technology is making; not only through helping to answer fundamental questions about our universe, but to aid our industries and to deliver significant health benefits to approximately one in two Australians who will receive a nuclear medicine scan at some point in their lifetime.
From an emerging science in the early 1950’s, nuclear science and technology is a field that actively and positively touches the lives of thousands of Australians every day. 
Please visit our dedicated micro site that provides a snapshot of ANSTO’s many achievements over the past 60 years. 

Dr Adi Paterson, Chief Executive Officer, ANSTO