Australia and New Zealand recently announced an agreement to increase scientific cooperation between the countries' nuclear detection networks. Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency and Geoscience Australia will work with New Zealand's Institute of Environmental Science to enhance the two states' ability to detect nuclear test explosions. The Institute of Environmental Science and Research plays a key role in the CTBTO's nuclear detection network by managing six radionuclide-monitoring stations in the Pacific southwest, with two locations in New Zealand-one of which is the National Radiation Laboratory (NRL).
The two countries will exchange scientific and technical knowledge on radionuclide detection. According to NRL program director Wim Nijhof, "working more closely and sharing expertise with our Australian counterparts, will mean better planning and protection in the event that a nuclear incident is detected by our monitoring and analysis."