This page belongs to: Australian Radioactive Waste Agency

Facility land requirements

We conducted extensive site assessments to look at geography, flora and fauna, and cultural heritage.

Content under review

The information on this webpage may no longer be current. This follows a Federal Court order to set aside the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility site declaration. Read about the decision.

23 August 2023


In our original call for land nominations in 2017, we stated that the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility required ‘no less than 100 ha’ of land. Our initial estimates identified that the facility needed 40 ha of land.

An additional 60 ha of land was needed as a buffer zone between the facility, its supporting infrastructure, and neighbouring land.

Since the nominations, we’ve undertaken extensive site characterisations to assess geography, flora and fauna, and cultural heritage. The studies identified the need for a larger buffer zone to accommodate site features, power infrastructure, and road access.

Land estimate

The following table describes the site's early and revised land estimates. 

The community zone includes 20 ha 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.


Site useNapandee
Operational zone4040
Buffer zone60100
Community zone020

Operational zone

Now that land has been acquired by the Commonwealth, we’ll perform detailed investigations to determine the operational zone’s best placement.

The operational zone will 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 includes 2 sections:

  1. A sterile zone located immediately around the operational zone’s parameter. The sterile zone:
    • separates the operational zone from adjacent land uses
    • aids with bushfire protection
    • provides an empty and secure space in line with regulatory requirements.
  2. A public zone that accommodates:
    • a reception and administration building
    • a contractor’s compound
    • an electricity micro-grid.

The buffer zone will extend to around 100 ha to meet community, infrastructure, technical and regulatory requirements.

Agricultural research and development zone

Approximately 20 hectares will be set aside at the facility for an agricultural research and development zone. The requirements of this zone cannot be determined without first analysing information gathered from the other 2 zones.

While the other investigations are underway, we’ll continue consulting closely with the Kimba community to ensure they inform our planning.