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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 estimate

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

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 Napandee
Estimates Early Revised
Operational zone 40 40
Buffer zone 60 100
Community zone 0 20
Total 100 160

Operational zone

Now that part of the land at Napandee 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 100ha 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.

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

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Contact us

  • Email
  • 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: 23 December 2021

Content ID: 65083