It was established in 1952, replacing the Atomic Energy Policy Committee. In 1981 parts of the Commission were split off to become part of CSIRO, the remainder continuing until 1987, when it was replaced by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). The Commission head office was in Coogee, and its main facilities were at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Lucas Heights, established in 1958.
Highlights of the Commission's history included:
Other significant facilities constructed by the Commission at Lucas Heights included a 3MeV Van de Graaff particle accelerator, installed in 1964 to provide proton beams and now upgraded to become ANTARES, a smaller 1.3MeV betatron, and radioisotope production and remote handling facilities associated with HIFAR reactor.
Significant research work included: