Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, has reconfirmed the Government’s commitment that 45 local jobs will be created through the establishment of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF).
Each year Australians benefit from nuclear medicine and research activities.
According to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER), around 2 in 3 Australians will use nuclear medicine in their lifetime. With these benefits comes a responsibility to safely manage radioactive waste.
Currently, Australia’s radioactive waste is stored in more than 100 locations around the country.
The Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) is leading the process to:
- responsibly manage the nation’s radioactive waste
- deliver a single, safe and purpose-built facility
ARWA is establishing the NRWMF in line with the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012.
The facility will permanently dispose of low-level radioactive waste and temporarily store intermediate-level waste.
In February 2020 the Federal Government identified Napandee, near Kimba in South Australia, as the preferred site to host the facility.
The National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 confirms this commitment.
DISER is expected to lead a separate process to site a facility to permanently dispose of Australia’s intermediate-level waste.
On 31 July 2020, Minister Pitt reconfirmed that there will be 45 jobs at the NRFMF near Kimba.
“The facility will need these onsite operational roles to ensure that it is managed safely and securely. There is no intention to operate the facility remotely,” he said.
“Furthermore, our Government is highly focused on bringing jobs to regional areas and this project is part of that commitment.”
“The organisation chart released in 2018 for the facility was based on advice from nuclear experts at ANSTO.”
“It’s been disappointing to see some people clutching at straws trying to question the figures in an attempt to jeopardise a critically important piece of national infrastructure,” he said.
“These 45 operational jobs are in addition to the 35 jobs that will be based in Adelaide at the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA).”
The Minister noted that the 35 jobs at ARWA will not only be responsible for developing and overseeing the facility, but will also be focused on other waste management functions outlined in the Australian Radioactive Waste Management Framework
To find out more about the types of jobs at the facility, please visit: https://www.industry.gov.au/data-and-publications/national-radioactive-waste-management-facility-site-selection-information-pack.
The video above is an animation of a concept design for the radioactive waste management facility.
It shows the location of various buildings in the facility including the visitor centre and administration building, waste operations centre, low-level waste vaults, intermediate level waste storage, TN81 container storage and utilities building.
It also highlights how the facility will change over the course of its 100-year operational life.