This page belongs to: Australian Radioactive Waste Agency

Facility land requirements

Find out how our land needs changed after we did site characterisation studies at Napandee.

In our call for land nominations in 2017, we said the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility needed at least 100ha of land. 

Our first estimates found the facility needed:

  • 40ha of land for an operational zone
  • 60ha for a buffer zone between the facility, it's supporting infrastructure, and neighbouring land. 

We then site characterisations to assess geography, flora and fauna, and cultural heritage. These studies showed that we needed a larger buffer zone of 100ha. This would allow for site features, power infrastructure, and road access at Napandee.

Read more about some of our site characterisation activities.

Land estimate

This table shows Napandee's early and revised land estimates.

Site use Napandee
Estimates Early Revised
Operational zone 40 40
Buffer zone 60 100
Community zone 0 20
Total 100 160

Operational zone

The operational zone was intended to house:

  • a waste operations centre
  • low-level waste disposal vaults
  • temporary intermediate level waste storage
  • a security building and emergency response building
  • vehicle and personnel security inspection points prior to entering the site.

Buffer zone

The buffer zone was to include a sterile zone and a public zone.

Sterile zone

A sterile zone was to be immediately around the operational zone’s parameter. 

We intended the sterile zone to:

  • separate the operational zone from adjacent land uses
  • help with bushfire protection
  • provide an empty and secure space in line with regulatory requirements.

Public zone

We intended the public zone would include:

  • a reception and administration building
  • a contractor’s compound
  • an electricity micro-grid.

Community zone

The community zone was intended to include 20ha of land for community agricultural research and development following community expressions of interest. 

This was in response to the 2018 Senate Economics References Committee inquiry. Read about the inquiry on the Parliament of Australia website.

Agricultural research and development zone

We planned to set aside around 20ha at the facility for an agricultural research and development zone. We had to analyse information from the first 2 zones before we could work out the needs of this zone. 

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