The use of ionising radiation is not encouraged in the Australian Antarctic Program (AAP). Researchers must investigate alternatives to the use of radioisotopes and justify how the benefits of using a radiation source outweigh the risks of its use.
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) issues a licence to the AAD for radioisotope work undertaken as part of the AAP. Information about radiation safety and regulation can be found on the ARPANSA website. Approval for radioisotope use must be obtained through ARPANSA, which amends the AAD licence prior to work commencing in Antarctica, on subantarctic islands or on ships. The approval process can take up to six weeks; it is therefore necessary to seek advice from the AAD in the early stages of planning a project.
The AAD may provide temporary storage at its facilities and on ships, and logistically assist users who are not employees of the AAD. However, persons from other organisations must obtain appropriate licences and comply with all regulations to which their organisation is subject regarding the use, storage and disposal of radiation sources, including their return to Australia.