The Australian
Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is Australia’s national
nuclear research and development organization and the centre of Australian
nuclear expertise. Its main site is located at Lucas Heights Science and
Technology Centre (LHSTC), 40km south west of Sydney’s CDB. The Centre occupies
70 hectares and is surrounded by a 1.6km buffer zone.

Prescribed by the
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Act 1987, its purpose is
to deliver specialised advice, scientific services and products to government,
industry, academia and other research organizations. The site’s nuclear
infrastructure includes the newly commissioned OPAL (Open Pool Australian
Light-water) Research Reactor, which is Australia’s only nuclear reactor. It
provides industrial radioisotopes and facilities for neutron activation
analysis, irradiation of materials and neutron radiography to service the needs
of agriculture and industry, particularly with regards to electronics, the
environment and resource and mineral processing.

The OPAL Research
Reactor building contains all the nuclear systems, the reactor and the service
pools. It protects the reactor from all external events and also provides the
structural basis for reactor containment. Made of reinforced concrete, it is
seismically qualified and has a metallic grillage for protection from an aircraft
crash.

ANSTO’s
infrastructure includes particle accelerators, and a range of other unique
research facilities including radiopharmaceutical production facilities for
Australasia. ANSTO is also responsible for implementing security at LHSTC in
accordance with stringent international and Australian obligations. These
include Australian Government’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Safeguards Agreements,
which require Australia to meet international standards in the physical
protection of nuclear facilities and material.

As a result,
security is layered throughout the organization and is structured around
various security grades of the individual facilities. ANSTO manages the site’s high
and medium security areas on the one system platform, Cardax FT. Cardax FT is
the backbone of electronic access control and intruder alarms at ANSTO and other
security measures employed on site are interfaced to Cardax FT.

At the perimeter,
Cardax FT controls gates, turnstiles, bollards, and boom gates. Long range
readers have been implemented at the main entrance gates for convenient vehicle
access. The HIFAR protected area and facilities are surrounded by the Gallagher
PowerFence perimeter security system to deter and detect any would-be
intruders. Future plans include introducing high level integration between
Cardax FT and the PowerFence Trophy FT system for seamless configuration and
monitoring of perimeter security through Cardax FT Command Centre.

In designated
high security areas at ANSTO, the Australian Government’s TypeOne intruder
alarm standard applies. Cardax FT UltraSec, a high security variant of Cardax
FT, meets Type One requirements for securing these areas. Cardax FT UltraSec
provides end-to-end system security through very high levels of data encryption
and monitored communications.

The system uses a
minimum encryption key length of 128 bits coupled together with stronger
encryption algorithms.

Cardax FT
UltraSec also supports access control. Alongside staff, access is also required
for 150 research students and 1000 contractors, not to mention numerous
visitors. Having migrated from a legacy Commander based Cardax system, ANSTO
recognized that there are significant benefits of moving onto the Cardax FT
platform.

These benefits
include the fact the system meets the Australian SCEC Type One security
requirements for high security areas including the OPAL research reactor
through Cardax FT UltraSec. CardaxFT also integrates both access control and
intruder alarms for high and medium security areas through the system division
partitioning feature and it achieves seamless integration with DVR systems.

The system supports
backwards compatibility with ANSTO’s Cardax Commander II hardware, enabling ANSTO
to upgrade to Cardax FT Controllers while retaining its existing readers and
cards. It also interfaces with the PowerFence perimeter security system for
alarm monitoring and from an operational perspective allows operators the
flexibility to arm (set) disarm (unset) or isolate various alarm zones (areas
of the intruder alarm system) in the field through the Cardax FT Remote Arming
Terminal.

ANSTO utilizes
the Cardax FT Challenge feature in high security areas such as the OPAL
Research Reactor. This feature enables the operator to check the identity of a
cardholder by comparing the cardholder’s image in the system against a live
image from a third party CCTV/DVR system and provide or deny access.

Security staff
are able to grant visitors access to the site via a remote link to the Cardax
FT system. For example, if a bus full of people comes to visit the site, they
can badge their access cards to a hand held reader while onboard the bus, for
quick and efficient access control.

The integrated
PhotoID option also makes cardholder management and the production of photo ID
cards much easier to control. A spokesperson for ANSTO said that Cardax FT is
much more of a global security management system.

“The
comprehensive reporting options enable us to provide timely management
information.”

“Cardax FT is the
backbone of electronic access control and intruder alarms at ANSTO and other
security measures employed on site are interfaced to Cardax FT”