Facility safety

People standing next to, and residents living near the site, will receive no more of a radiation dose than if they were standing anywhere else in Australia.

Development of site design and operation includes a comprehensive safety case to identify all credible hazards, including rare events with significant consequences, and demonstrate that effective solutions and strategies to reduce risk as low as reasonably achievable are in place.

The safety case will need to satisfy the technical safety requirements for the project to proceed through various milestones set by Australian nuclear safety regulator ARPANSA. “Safety case” is an overarching term that refers to the multiple documents. These multiple documents contain the evidence showing a facility will be acceptably safe throughout its lifecycle. The Department will submit three safety case applications to ARPANSA for review over the course of the project.  These three safety case applications must be submitted to obtain:

  • the licence to prepare a site
  • the licence to construct
  • the licence to operate.

ARPANSA will assess the safety case against fundamental safety principles and will only provide a licence to proceed if there is conclusive evidence to demonstrate these fundamental safety principles are met. Each of these safety case submissions will be made public, as will ARPANSA’s reasons for granting the licence.

The safety case will be maintained as a live body of work that reflects latest understanding and incorporates up-to-date community feedback and international best practice. This project will be fully subject to Australia’s stringent radiation protection regulatory approvals. The Government will undertake detailed environmental and safety assessments required as part of the regulatory licencing and approvals processes under the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (ARPANS) Act 1998.

The facility will be built to withstand all plausible natural and man-made events based on historical record and future assessment of conditions.