Main content area

Australian Radioactive Waste Agency

The Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) is leading the process to responsibly manage our nation’s radioactive waste now and into the future.

Radioactive materials are used in:

  • medicine
  • scientific research
  • industry
  • agriculture
  • technology.

They’re used to diagnose and treat heart, lung or muscular skeletal conditions, or certain cancers. It’s likely that all Australians will benefit from nuclear medicine in their lifetime.

With these benefits comes a responsibility to safely manage radioactive waste.

Managing radioactive waste

Currently, Australia’s radioactive waste is stored in more than 100 locations around the country. To solve this problem, we’re establishing a single, safe and purpose-built facility.

The Australian Radioactive Waste Management Framework shows how we will effectively manage radioactive waste throughout its life cycle.

Establishing the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility

We’re establishing the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012.

The facility will:

A separate future facility will permanently dispose of Australia’s intermediate-level waste.

Site selection

The National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Act 2020 passed the houses of Parliament in June 2021.

The new Act will amend the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012. The amendments maintain the Ministerial site declaration process and provides legislative recognition of the shortlisted sites.

The Minister announced the intention to declare part of the land at Napandee as the site to host the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in August 2021.

The declaration process includes consultation with those who have a right or interest in the nominated land.

Read more about the intention to declare.

Read more about the site selection process for the facility.

Facility concept design

See a video of the concept design.

Delivering community benefits

The facility will provide a new industry for its host community with:

  • job opportunities during construction and ongoing
  • improved infrastructure, including water, power, communications, transport and waste
  • increased local investment.

The community that hosts the facility will receive a Community Development Package of up to $31 million. This package includes:

  • $20 million community fund to provide long-term support for the region
  • $8 million of grants to strengthen the economic and skills base of the host community
  • up to $3 million from the government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy to support Indigenous opportunities.

Communities considered during the site selection process have received several rounds of grant funding through a Community Benefit Program. This funding:

  • recognises social impacts on communities near the nominated sites
  • increases economic opportunities for affected communities.

Read more

Connect with us

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Contact us

  • Email
  • Phone 13 28 46
  • Write to us at: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; Australian Radioactive Waste Agency, GPO Box 2013, Canberra ACT 2601

See also

Last updated: 11 August 2021

Content ID: 67322