Minister issues intention to declare Napandee site for National Radioactive Waste Management Facility
A National Radioactive Waste Management Facility is one step closer, following the decision by the Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt, to issue notices of an intention to declare Napandee near Kimba as the proposed site for the facility.
The facility will be for the disposal of Australia’s low level radioactive waste and temporary storage of intermediate level waste, currently spread over more than 100 locations.
More than 80 per cent of Australia’s radioactive waste stream is associated with the production of nuclear medicine which, on average, every Australian will need in their lifetime.
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,” the Minister 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.
“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.”
This broad community support has been demonstrated through a range of indicators including:
- 61.6 per cent of people in the Kimba Local Government Area supported the facility according to the Ballot which was independently facilitated by the AEC;
- 59.3 per cent support from surveyed local businesses in Kimba;
- 59.8 per cent support from local submissions; and
- 100 per cent of neighbours who share a boundary with the site at Napandee, support the facility.
“Now that I have 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 Minister said.
"The nuclear industry is one of the most highly regulated in Australia and there will continue to be a range of community consultation opportunities.
“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 find out more about the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility, visit: radioactivewaste.gov.au
Minister Pitt's office 02 6277 7180