The establishment of a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility is needed to ensure that Australians can continue to access world-class nuclear medicine treatments.
That’s the finding of clinicians, business leaders, scientists, politicians, academics and public servants who met at the The future of nuclear medicine and its by-products roundtable in Canberra.
Today the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) released the communique from the roundtable, which occurred on Monday 9th November 2020 at Australian Parliament House.
The communique makes findings on:
Sam Chard, General Manager of the ARWA, said the roundtable was a great opportunity for impactful dialogue with those in the nuclear industry.
“Monday saw the forming of a new partnership between ARWA and the nuclear medicine industry, one that will help deliver the important facility,” Ms Chard said.
“The outcomes of the roundtable have been compiled into a communique and build on what we, and the researchers, have been saying for nearly five years – Australia needs this facility.
“I would like to thank everyone who participated and look forward to continuing to work with leading clinicians and researchers as we deliver the facility.”
For more information about the project, including artists’ impressions, reports and 24 dedicated fact sheets visit the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency
On 9 November 2020, the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) hosted The future of nuclear medicine and its by-products roundtable at Parliament House, Canberra.
The roundtable discussion focussed on two areas:
The roundtable brought together clinicians, business leaders, scientists, academics, public servants, both in person and online, including:
Representatives from ANSTO and ARWA updated attendees on nuclear medicine innovations and progress to site a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF), before leading into discussion.
Roundtable participants agreed with the need to deliver the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility. The facility will:
In February 2020, the government identified Napandee, near Kimba in South Australia, as the preferred site to host the facility.
The National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 confirms this commitment.
ARWA will lead a separate process to site a facility to permanently dispose of Australia’s intermediate-level waste.
It was agreed that the importance of nuclear medicine to the Australian health system is increasing, with existing medical radionuclides being used more frequently, and research and innovation driving the development of new life-saving medical treatments.
Participants heard from ANSTO, industry and clinicians on the critical role of reactor production in producing 12,000 potentially life-saving or otherwise life-changing radioactive doses per week in Australia. Participants also heard of the growing range of new and emerging nuclear medicines that can offer new treatments and improved accuracy in the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases. Over the next few decades, radionuclide therapy is projected to represent more than half of all radiation based cancer therapies, such is the importance of these developments.
Participants agreed to pursue ongoing dialogue between the newly-formed Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) and the nuclear medicine industry (including through ANZSNM, RAINS, AANMS), with a view to formalising the engagement as AWRA is established as a non-corporate Commonwealth entity.