Waste we won’t manage

Foreign waste

The facility cannot accept waste which originated overseas. The proposed facility will only accept “controlled material”. Under the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998, controlled material is radioactive waste which originated in Australia but does not include high-level waste.

High-level waste

There is no high level radioactive waste in Australia.

Disposal of intermediate and high-level waste requires the construction of deep geological facilities. This work cannot be done at the proposed facility.

Once the proposed national facility is built by the federal government, it would be impossible to simply turn the site into a high-level waste disposal or storage site.

High-level radioactive waste can be the by-product from the reprocessing of spent fuel from nuclear power reactors. It is differentiated from intermediate-level waste by the amount of heat generated by the decay of radioactive material in the waste.

Intermediate-level waste - disposal

Intermediate-level waste is proposed to be temporarily stored at the national facility pending future disposal at another special purpose facility. Finding a site to permanently dispose intermediate-level radioactive waste would require a completely new identification process, a technically suitable site, community support and appropriate licencing.