ANSTO Media Release: Hawker and Quorn locals visit ANSTO

26 October 2017


Hawker and Quorn locals visit ANSTO to find out more about the types of jobs involved in managing radioactive waste

Monday 23 October 2017

Ten people from Hawker and Quorn were on site at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) last week.

The group were on site to learn more about how ANSTO safely manages radioactive waste and understand more about ANSTO’s workforce in this area.

The group toured ANSTO’s low and intermediate level waste facilities before meeting with experts to ask questions and gain a better understanding of the types of roles that would be required to run a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

Amongst the group were several people from the newly-established Economic Working Group, who took the opportunity to ask directly about different types of employment, from apprentices through to professors.

Whilst at ANSTO, the group also got to see the other side of the nuclear fuel cycle, including the OPAL reactor and state-of-the-art research instruments, such as those used for medical research.

On average, nuclear medicine will be needed by one in two Australians during their lifetime for diagnosis or treatment of conditions such as heart, lung and muscular-skeletal conditions, and cancer.

Stephanie McCready from ANSTO’s Discovery Centre, led the tour. Through the Discovery Centre, ANSTO welcomes about 15,000 visitors to our main campus here at Lucas Heights every year.

“ANSTO has more than 1,200 employees and a wide range of employment opportunities,” said McCready.

“This includes around 20 people who manage our existing low and intermediate level radioactive waste on site.

“About half of the staff in that operations team have trade qualifications, in areas such as mechanics and electrics, and the other half perform the role with on-the-job training.”

Malcolm “Tiger” McKenzie is co-Chair of the Economic Working Group, and welcomed the opportunity to bring some of his neighbours and colleagues to the site.

“One of the great things I saw was a lot of school children going through the site and being taught about nuclear medicine and science. It was a real eye opener,” Mr McKenzie said.

“Our group will capture what we have learned about what goes on at ANSTO, and feed that into our development plans.

“What I saw was that my group had the opportunity to talk to people who knew what they were talking about, listen and ask questions, and then walk away happy.

“They spoke to the experts about the process and how they manage and look after the site safety, and I am sure we could do something similar up at Wallerberdina Station.

“With the proper training, we could do the types of jobs they do here. There is a great opportunity to contribute.”

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