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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:

  • 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 (NRWMF) 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 Australian Government declared part of the land at Napandee near Kimba in South Australia as the site for the facility. This is a significant step in the establishment of this crucial piece of national infrastructure. It helps to secure the future of Australia’s nuclear medicine industry and our nuclear research capabilities.

Read the Minister’s statement of reasons for the site declaration.

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.

As the host community for the facility, Kimba in South Australia 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.

We are also sponsoring activities in the Kimba community that support our community engagement and provide tangible benefits. Local not-for-profit organisations can apply for up to $2,000 each.

Communities in proximity to the nominated sites 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.

Community conversations

Our community conversations sessions bring together small groups to discuss opportunities and challenges around a single topic.

The sessions inform the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility project as it progresses.

Read our community conversations sessions summaries.

Read more

Connect with us

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Contact us

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

See also

Last updated: 1 July 2022

Content ID: 67322