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Integrated Systems - Case Studies

Cardax FT protects the centre of Australia's nuclear research & development expertise at ANSTO with a high security solution

ANSTO manages high and medium security areas on the one system platform, Cardax FT.

ANSTO's vision
Our vision is to benefit all Australians and the international community through the innovative applications of nuclear science and technology and for ANSTO to be recognised as a leader in selected fields of expertise.

For the future, ANSTO is interested in the direction biometrics is taking, in particular, iris scanning. With the Cardax FT platform, ANSTO knows it will be possible to integrate biometric technologies.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) are Australia's national nuclear research and development organisation 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 CBD.  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 organisations. 

ANSTO's nuclear infrastructure includes the research High Flux Australian Reactor (HIFAR), particle accelerators, radiopharmaceutical production facilities, and a range of other unique research facilities.  HIFAR is Australia's only nuclear reactor.  It is used to produce radioactive products for use in medicine and industry, as a source of neutron beams for scientific research, and to irradiate silicon for semiconductor applications.  The HIFAR building is surrounded by the PowerFence perimeter security system to deter and detect any would-be intruders.

In April 2002 the construction of the Replacement Research Reactor (RRR) was approved.  The RRR is basically a neutron factory, designed to achieve high performance in the production of neutrons.

At the time of its approval, Chief Executive Officer, Professor Helen Garnett said, "The License to Construct is significant not only for scientists, but for all Australians.  The Replacement Research Reactor will ensure that Australia continues to receive medical services of a first-world standard, remains at the cutting edge of new and emerging technologies, and continues to play an important role in regional nuclear affairs."  ANSTO is responsible for implementing security at LHSTC in accordance with stringent international and Australian national obligations.  These include the 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 ANSTO, structured around the various security gradings of facilities. 

The Replacement 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 a light aircraft crash.

In designated high security areas, the Australian Government's Type One intruder alarm standard applies.  This is where Cardax FT UltraSec, a high security variant of Cardax FT, comes in.

Cardax FT UltraSec provides end-to-end system security through very high levels of data encryption and monitored communications.  The system significantly exceeds the Australian Government's requirement of 56 bit DES by using a minimum encryption key length of 128 bits coupled together with stronger encryption algorithms.

Cardax FT UltraSec also supports access control. Alongside 850 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 recognises that there are significant benefits of onto the Cardax FT platform:

  • Meets the Australian SCEC Type One security requirements for high security areas including the RRR through Cardax FT UltraSec
  • Integrates both access control and intruder alarms for high and medium security areas through the system division partitioning feature
  • Achieves seemless integration with DVR systems
  • Supports backwards compatibility with their Cardax Commander II hardware, enabling them to upgrade to Cardax FT Controllers while retaining their existing readers and cards
  • Interfaces with the PowerFence system for alarm monitoring.

An ANSTO representative says that Cardax FT is much more of a global security management system. 

"The comprehensive reporting options enable us to provide timely management information."  The integrated PhotoID option also makes cardholder management and the production of photo ID cards much easier to control. 

There is an opportunity to utilise Cardax FT Challenge in high security areas like the RRR.  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.

As part of its plan to maintain site security, ANSTO has committed to annual Cardax FT software maintenance agreements that will enable them to elect new optional features as they are developed.

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