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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:
- scientific research
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.
Moving away from multiple storage sites aligns with:
- recommendations by the independent regulator of Australian radioactive material, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)
- international best practice for the long-term management of radioactive waste.
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.
In February 2020, the government identified Napandee, near Kimba in South Australia, as the preferred site to host the facility. The National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 confirms this commitment.
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 about ARWA’s work and how we’re organised
- Read our reports, independent assessments and community information
- View our news and media
Connect with us
Subscribe to our newsletter.
- Email arwa [at] industry.gov.au
- 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
- Read about waste management principles on ANSTO’s website
- Earlier work to nominate a site can be found on the Australia Government web archive. We’re aware there are discrepancies with data capture of some documents in the archive. If you’re having difficulty accessing any documents, please contact us.
Last updated: 30 June 2021
Content ID: 67322