The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ABN 47 956 969 590) is a body corporate established by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Act 1987 (“ANSTO”) and is home to Australia’s nuclear expertise.
At the heart of ANSTO’s research capabilities, there are a multi-purpose research reactor (OPAL) and a suite of accelerators, including the Australian Synchrotron . As a Federal Government agency, ANSTO provides policy advice to Government on all matters relating to nuclear science, technology and engineering. It supports Government in undertaking its international roles and obligations.
The formation of the Australian Collaboration for Accelerator Science (ACAS) between ANSTO, the Australian Synchrotron, the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University is aimed at creating and maintaining a national pool of world-class facilities and accelerator expertise. This collaboration will ensure Australia remains at the leading edge of accelerator capabilities and facilities and engaged with international accelerator centres, principally CERN. ANSTO’s particle accelerators ANTARES and STAR are well established for analysing the elemental composition and age of materials using ion beam analysis and accelerator mass spectrometry.
The research reactor OPAL facilitates specialised research using a growing suite of neutron beam instruments at ANSTO’s Centre for Neutron Scattering (ACNS) at Sydney. This is complemented by the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne with its beamlines using synchrotron radiation. Consequently, ANSTO scientists apply neutron scattering and X-ray techniques to solve complex research and industrial problems. The complementarity of the techniques, neutron scattering and synchrotron radiation, is applicable in a wide range of fields, such as chemistry, physics, materials science, engineering, earth sciences, life sciences and cultural heritage and fosters an inter- und multidisciplinary approach to research.
In addition, ANSTO is home to Australia’s critical nuclear medicine manufacturing capabilities, it is estimated one in two Australians will need the nuclear medicines made by ANSTO. The mining industry relies on ANSTO to provide advice and technology to handle naturally occurring radioactive materials in mineral processing. ANSTO also provides expert advice on the safe treatment and disposition of nuclear waste and specialised irradiation services.
ANSTO is home to Australia’s expertise in radiation monitoring and measurement, including maintaining the national standard for the Becquerel (the unit of measure for radioactivity) and detector development for medical applications. It hosts the Environmental Radioactivity Measurement Centre (ERMC) which offers low level radioactivity measurement capabilities.
ANSTO works in partnerships and collaborative ventures with national and international organisations. With our partners, we work together in research and education to addressing key scientific questions, making use of the various technological platforms available as well as the scientific areas covered, such as life sciences, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, environmental sciences, materials and engineering, including modelling. Frequently, our partnerships are interdisciplinary including higher-education institutions, research agencies, industry and government agencies in view of stimulating joint activities for the advancement of science and engineering and, subsequently, innovation.
ANSTO’s collaborations are with international and national partners and include joint research appointments, joint supervision of research students, staff exchange, use of equipment and negotiated arrangements specific to each partner, including joint grant applications, establishments of centres of excellence, and participation in research networks fostering a multidisciplinary approach to research.
ANSTO is particularly connected with all Australian and New Zealand universities through the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE), providing researchers access to Australia’s nuclear science, technology and engineering expertise and landmark infrastructure which in turn, facilitates greater national science collaboration. In addition, ANSTO has strong international collaborations connected with important global research projects.