About Radiation Safety at UNSW

In New South Wales, use of radioactive materials and radiation apparatus is regulated by the Radiation Control Act (1990) and Radiation Control Regulation 2013. The NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is the administrator of the Act and Regulation. Lasers are not regulated by specific government legislation but there are Australian Standards dealing with Lasers which are a minimum set of requirements for Laser use.   

The Radiation Control Act and Regulation were introduced to:

  • secure the protection of persons and the environment from exposure to ionising and harmful non-ionising radiation to the maximum extent that is reasonably practicable, taking into account social and economic factors and recognising the need for the use of radiation for beneficial purposes; 
  • protect security enhanced sources from misuse that may result in harm to people or the environment; and
  • promote the radiation protection principles including: justification of a practice, optimisation of protection and dose and risk limitation.


                            Radiation Safety Management at UNSW



The University has a Radiation Management Licence that allows the possession, sales, store, giving away and disposal of regulated material that may be used in research or teaching. The Radiation Research Safety Procedure outlines the responsibilities and authorities governing the use of ionising and non-ionising radiation in accordance to the requirements of the relevant codes and legislations. The content of the document applies to all staff and research trainees at UNSW and affiliated centres and institutes involved in research using ionising and non-ionising radiation in Australia. 




    Within UNSW, the following areas assist the University to meet its licence conditions:

    Radiation Safety Committee (RSC)

    • reviews the radiation safety of all research and teaching projects involved radiation apparatus and radioactive substances within the University and recommends to the University radiation safety policies.

    NOTE: UNSW Canberra reports to the ACT Radiation Council and has its own RSC. If you are a UNSW Canberra staff or student please contact the Chair of the UNSW Canberra RSC, Associate Professor Heiko Timmers, T: +61 2 5114 5048 or E: h.timmers@unsw.edu.au for any inquiries about the application process and other radiation needs.


    Radiation Safety Officer (RSO)

    • provides on-the-ground expertise to the RSC for the enforcement of radiation safety policies. The RSO reports to the RSC.


    Health and Safety Unit (H&S)

    • is responsible for the provision of radiation safety training and personal monitoring badges. Please see the local School Radiation Safety Supervisor (RSS) to organise a badge.  


    Research Ethics and Compliance Support (RECS)

    • coordinates all activities for the Radiation Safety Committee, liaises with the Regulator on behalf of the University, first contact point for all radiation users’ enquiries.


    Radiation Safety Supervisors (RSS)

    • oversees radiation activities within their School, ensuring the University’s safety policies are being observed and followed. For Schools that do not have a dedicated RSS, the Radiation Safety Officer would be the acting RSS.


    Complaints, allegations of non-compliance and grievances


    UNSW has established a complaints, allegations of non-compliance and grievances mechanism for UNSW staff, students and persons external to the University to ensure transparency and oversight of research aligned with RECS portfolios.

    Complaints about the conduct of research involving radiation by UNSW staff, students and visitors as well as instances of research conducted without the appropriate approval  or not in accordance with the RSC approval should be directed to the Acting Director, Research Ethics & Compliance Support (RECS), Samela Husakovic.. Where deemed appropriate, matters may be referred to the UNSW Conduct & Integrity Office (research.integrity@unsw.edu.au).

    To access the UNSW complaints pathway including explanation on how to submit a complaint, please check here.

    Grievances about radiation safety review processes should be directed to the Director RECS to be assessed against institutional and legislative frameworks.