Radioactive waste management

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Project

The Government is committed to establishing a national facility to safely store and dispose of Australia’s existing and future waste. This waste is produced largely from medical, industrial, agricultural and scientific applications that all Australians benefit from. Landholders Australia-wide have the opportunity to voluntarily nominate land as a potential site for the Facility. Nominations will be assessed based on a number of factors, including community support, environmental stability, health, safety and security, as well as economic viability. The nomination call will remain open until 5 May 2015.

For more information on the project, visit the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility website.

Radioactive waste management

The use and production of radioactive materials generates radioactive waste that must be managed safely and appropriately.

Radioactive waste management involves the treatment, conditioning, transportation, storage and disposal of all categories of radioactive wastes, including administrative, operational and safety-related activities.

The primary objective of radioactive waste management is to isolate radioactive waste from people and the environment for the period that the waste remains hazardous.

Radiation and radioactive waste

Radiation comes from both naturally occurring radioactive elements left over from formation of the Earth, and from cosmic radiation. The use of radioactive materials and radiation plays a significant role in everyday life, and can offer numerous benefits to society through its variety of applications including medical, agricultural and industrial. Production of small quantities of radioactive waste is an inevitable consequence of the use of radioactive materials.

Radiation safety

Radiation safety involves the protection of people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionising radiation.

Radioactive waste management in Australia

In Australia, the safe use, transport and disposal of radioactive materials is governed by Commonwealth, state and territory acts and regulations, as well as numerous international obligations, standards and treaties.

Maralinga and British Nuclear Testing in Australia

Between 1953 and 1963 the British Government, with the agreement and support of the Australian Government, carried out nuclear weapon tests at three sites in Australia.

Glossary of terms

A list of terms commonly used when discussing matters related to radioactive materials.

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