International standards

About the international standards for radiation safety

Under Article III of the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the IAEA is authorised to establish standards of safety for protection against ionising radiation.

The IAEA has developed a series of Radiation and Waste Safety Standards based on recommendations made by a number of international bodies, principally the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and estimates of radiation risk made by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).

The IAEA Safety Standards Series comprises publications of a regulatory nature covering nuclear safety, radiation protection, radioactive waste management, transport of radioactive materials, safety of nuclear fuel cycle facilities and quality assurance.

Safety Standards Series publications are categorised into:

  • safety fundamentals—which state basic objectives, concepts and principles of safety and protection
  • safety requirements—which establish the requirements that must be fulfilled to ensure safety for particular activities or applications
  • safety guides—which recommend actions, conditions or procedures for complying with these safety requirements.

Australia draws upon the IAEA's safety standards, ICRP radiation protection recommendations and relevant international treaties and conventions to establish its own legislation, regulations and practices in the safe use and management of nuclear and radioactive materials, including radioactive waste.

More information

For more information about radiation safety, see Radiation safety.

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