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Facility land requirements

In our original call for land nominations in 2017, we stated that the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility required ‘no less than 100ha’ of land. Our initial estimates identified that the facility needed 40ha of land. An additional 60ha 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 at Napandee, near Kimba in the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.

Land estimates

The following table describes each of the nominated sites' early and revised land estimates. These are subject to surveying and boundary confirmations.

The community zone includes 20ha 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 use Wallerberdina Station Lyndhurst Napandee
Estimates Early Revised Early Revised Early Revised
Operational zone 40 40 40 40 40 40
Buffer zone 60 100 60 100 60 100
Community zone 0 20 0 20 0 20
Total 100 160* 100 160* 100 160*

*Subject to survey and confirmation of boundaries

Operational zone

Once a site is selected, 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 visitors centre and administration building
    • a contractor’s compound
    • a water treatment plant (at Wallerberdina Station only)
    • an electricity micro-grid (at Lyndhurst and Napandee only).

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

Community and agricultural research zone

Once each site’s operational and buffer zone investigations are completed, we’ll perform detailed investigations to determine the community zone’s best placement.

Approximately 20 hectares has been set aside for a community zone. Community zone requirements 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 host communities to ensure they inform our community zone planning.

You can read about our previous consultations in our consultative committee meeting notes.

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Contact us

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

Last updated: 12 June 2021

Content ID: 65083