PNRA is entrusted with the responsibility to control, regulate and supervise all matters related to nuclear safety and radiation protection in Pakistan. It is empowered to develop rules and regulations, and issue guides for nuclear safety and radiation protection; develop and execute policies and programs for the protection of life, health and property against the risk arising from ionizing radiation; regulate the nuclear and radiation safety aspects of nuclear installations and radiation facilities; grant authorization, or issue licenses to nuclear installations and radiation facilities and their operators for the use of nuclear material and radioactive sources; and inspect all such facilities to ensure that regulations concerning safety measures are properly followed. PNRA also issues No Objection Certificates to importers and exporters of radioactive sources and Radiation Free Certificates for exportable food items Apart from onsite operations, transportation and dispose of radioactive materials also fall under its purview.

In addition, PNRA is lead agency for ensuring that national preparedness for nuclear and radiological accidents is maintained by the operating organizations or licensees. It is also the point of contact for international agreements and collaborations concerning nuclear and radiological emergencies.

These core responsibilities are supported with related activities, such as awareness building of concerned workers and the general public about nuclear and radiation safety issues; liaison with relevant government ministries and public administration bodies to improve implementation of safety measures in their spheres work; and collaboration with national institutions for research in nuclear and radiation safety.

Activities are carried out according to well-established the regimes that cater to national as well as international aspirations. As a young and forward-looking organization, PNRA lays great stress on enhancing its regulatory effectiveness and efficiency, particularly through capacity building and institutional strengthening measures, and on working in a manner that ensures the confidence of the licensees, the Government, and the general public.