Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is a statutory body of the Australian government, formed in 1987 to replace the Australian Atomic Energy Commission. Its head office and main facilities are in southern outskirts of Sydney at Lucas Heights, in the Sutherland Shire.

This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (June 2020)
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Agency overview
Formed 1987 (1987)
Superseding agency
Jurisdiction Australian Government
Headquarters Lucas Heights, New South Wales, Australia


Employees 1,000+
Minister responsible
Agency executives
  • The Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett, Chair of ANSTO
  • Shaun Jenkinson, Chief Executive Officer
Parent department Department of Industry, Science, Innovation and Resources

. . . Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation . . .

The Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is Australia’s national nuclear organisation and the centre of Australian nuclear expertise. The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Act 1987 (Cth) prescribes its general purpose. The purpose is translated into action through corporate drivers of vision, mission and strategic goals.

  • To support the development and implementation of government policies and initiatives in nuclear and related areas, domestically and internationally
  • To operate nuclear science and technology based facilities, for the benefit of industry and the Australian and international research community
  • To undertake research that will advance the application of nuclear science and technology
  • To apply nuclear science, techniques and expertise to address Australia ‘s environmental challenges and increase the competitiveness of Australian industry
  • To manufacture and advance the use of radiopharmaceuticals which will improve the health of Australians

ANSTO is governed by The Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett.[1] Penelope Dobson is the Deputy Chair. The CEO, Shaun Jenkinson, manages the organisation.[2]

ANSTO operates five research facilities:

  1. OPAL research reactor
  2. Centre for Accelerator Science
  3. Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering
  4. Cyclotron facility
  5. Australian Synchrotron

Major research instruments include:

  • Particle accelerator, ANTARES
  • High-resolution neutron powder diffractometer, ECHIDNA[3]
  • High-intensity neutron powder diffractometer, WOMBAT[4]
  • Strain scanner, KOWARI[5]
  • Neutron reflectometer, PLATYPUS[6]

ANSTO also manufactures radiopharmaceuticals and performs commercial work such as silicon doping by nuclear transmutation.

ANSTO currently has two nuclear reactors onsite: HIFAR and the OPAL from the Argentine company INVAP. HIFAR was permanently shut down on 30 January 2007. OPAL became operational in November 2006 and was officially opened 20 April 2007.

Spent fuel from the reactors is transported to Port Kembla, then shipped to France for reprocessing.[7]

In 2017, ANSTO announced the creation of a NiMo-SiC alloy for use in molten salt reactors.[8]

. . . Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation . . .

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. . . Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation . . .