A National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) is now one step closer, following the decision by the Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt, to declare Napandee near Kimba, South Australia as the proposed site for the facility.
Australia’s radioactive waste is currently stored in more than 100 locations around the country. To solve this problem, the Australian Government is establishing a single fit-for-purpose facility.
In coming to this decision, Minister Pitt considered relevant material to inform a formal declaration.
“This is the next step in progressing this nationally significant infrastructure project, which successive governments have been working on for more than 40 years,” Minister Pitt said.
“I have reviewed the relevant information, which has informed my decision to proceed in accordance with the Act. As such, I am issuing a notice to declare Napandee, and will seek the views of those with rights or interest in the site.”
“The Australian Government has followed a rigorous process over six years, working with local communities and carrying out technical studies,” he said.
“Upon reviewing all the information, it is clear that radioactive waste can be safely and securely stored at Napandee.”
“In Kimba, there is broad community support for the project and the benefits it will bring.”
Now that the Minister has issued an intention to declare a proposed site for the facility, this will commence the legislated process towards acquiring the site by the Australian Government for the purpose of hosting the facility.
“The nuclear industry is one of the most highly regulated in Australia and there will continue to be a range of community consultation opportunities,” he said.
“I would like to again thank the communities of Kimba, Hawker and Quorn for their thoughtful engagement over a long period of time on this vitally important issue.”
A period of further consultation will now occur, with the Minister considering relevant comments ahead of deciding whether to proceed with declaring the Napandee site.
Following that, and to progress the facility, the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) will need to develop various detailed applications to relevant regulators. The application and approval processes will take a number of years to be completed.
These applications will also include further consultations with community and Traditional Owner groups.
To have your say on the declaration of the site for the NRWMF, visit the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources’ consultation hub.