Media Release - Successful Tenderer To Conduct Site Characterisation

2 February 2018

MEDIA RELEASE

Friday 2 February 2018

Successful tenderer to conduct site studies

THE Department of Industry, Innovation and Science today announced AECOM is the successful tenderer to assess technical suitability of sites being considered for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

The "site characterisation" works that they undertake under the contract will be conducted on all three of the nominated sites, currently being considered: two in Kimba and one at Wallerberdina Station. It includes:

  •  assessing flora and fauna, geology, seismic activity, risks, the surrounding environment, transportation and other infrastructure;
  •  inputting into the Detailed Business Case, with reference to the site specific design and cost estimates that arise from site characterisation; and
  •  an additional option, following site characterisation, for the preparation and development of submissions for licensing and approvals process.

This work will be undertaken in concert with various other processes at the sites, including community consultation activities, and a heritage and cultural assessment currently underway at Wallerberdina Station.

In line with what we have said to community, further work at Wallerberdina Station will only be undertaken if it is consistent with our commitment to protect and preserve local indigenous heritage and cultural values.

AECOM was the successful tenderer of five applicants, based on factors including its engineering and radioactive waste management experience, combined with specific experience operating in South Australia.

Radioactive waste is currently stored in more than 100 locations around Australia, and the Site Characterisation is part of Phase 2 of a process to establish a single, safe facility to consolidate the waste.

The facility will be the permanent repository for Australia’s low level radioactive waste, and it will also temporarily store our intermediate level radioactive waste.

The General Manager of the National Radioactive Waste Management Taskforce, Bruce McCleary, said the site characterisation works will provide valuable information to the community.

"This phase of detailed technical assessment and extensive consultation will provide the information the community needs to make a decision on whether to proceed further with the proposal," Mr McCleary said.

"Understanding the nature of each volunteered site – in relation to matters such as groundwater, seismic activity, geology and flora and fauna – are key to determining technical suitability.

"While these assessments are underway, our extensive community consultation will continue.

"Additionally, within the next week we will see the closing of applications for the Community Benefit Program for both communities, on Monday 5th February 2018.

"We have the right experts and the right staff in place to advance this project through various decision points this year," McCleary said. More on the project can be found at www.radioactivewaste.gov.au.

Media Contact: 0438 619 987