Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Nuclear Waste Sites Shortlisted


The Federal government has shortlisted six sites for a permanent National Radioactive Waste Management Facility. The site will contain Australia’s low-level radoactive waste, with the capacity to store some intermediate-level waste.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

“The shortlist represents sites that are all of an excellent standard to host such a facility. The important task now is engagement and consultation with local communities. The final site will be discreet in size, world-class in standard and absolutely safe to both communities and the environment...

“Australia has a responsibility to manage these materials properly. That process is on a strong footing and I commend the Department for the process thus far.”

Ben Heard is a Member of the Independent Advisory Panel for the National Radioactive Waste Facility, a doctoral candidate at The University of Adelaide and a Director of Think Climate Consulting.


“The proposal is for a site to store low-level radioactive waste, which is currently at many locations around Australia. The case for a centralised waste store presumes that the overall risk to the community will be reduced. To justify that claim, there should be at least plausible risk calculations that compare the risk to the community of leaving the waste where it is with the risk of transporting it to one site where it would be safer. I have not seen such a calculation. It obviously should be done before we make a commitment to a centralised waste store.

“The government announcement adds that intermediate-level waste could also be stored at the proposed site. This is a much...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.