Environmental monitoring and reporting
ANSTO has an extensive program for monitoring the environment, and tracking any changes or trends relating to its operations.
A team of environmental scientists and technicians monitor radiation and collect and analyse environmental samples from ANSTO's Lucas Heights campus..
The results show that ANSTO's activities make only a very small addition (less than 0.01 per cent) to the natural background radiation dose in the environment, and are used to ensure that ANSTO meets standards required by federal and state government agencies. The results are published regularly.
Collecting and analysing samples
Water samples and sediment are collected regularly from stormwater drains and local creeks. Groundwater samples are collected from bores around ANSTO.
Representative samples of seawater, fish, seaweed and barnacles are collected from Potter Point and a reference site in the Royal National Park. Scientific analysis determines the type and quantity of radioactivity present. Radioactive minerals which are in rocks in the Earth's crust are present in all samples. Groundwater samples are also analysed for components such as organics, plant nutrients, metals, pH, conductivity and suspended solids.
Air is monitored continuously at four locations at ANSTO. Airborne effluent from laboratories and facilities are continuously monitored and analysed for radioisotope content. This emission data, together with ANSTO's weather station data, is used to estimate dose rates to local populations. Environmental radiation monitoring data is published every 15 minutes.
ANSTO also has a key role, through the Institute for Environmental Research, in a major research project that monitors fine particle pollution along the NSW coast, and other locations internationally.
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Agency regulates ANSTO activities to ensure they do not impact adversely on the environment and that the risk of doses to the public is controlled.
Waste water which is discharged to the sewers is controlled through an agreement with Sydney Water Corporation. NSW Government environmental protection principles are observed in relation to the management and administration of both ANSTO sites.
Environmental Management System Coordinator, Michael Baker
Nuclear Assurance Services Manager,