Waste we will manage

The facility will only manage low to intermediate immobilised solid waste.

We will permanently dispose of the low-level and temporarily store the intermediate-level waste.

These waste forms do not generate heat or pressure and are not combustible or explosive.

Some of the waste will be soft, some of it will be hard.

Low-level solid waste - disposal

man standing infront of large round machine This photo is a great example of how fewer layers of shielding are required when handling low-level waste.

Low-level waste emits radiation at levels which generally require minimal shielding during handling, transport and storage.

Examples of low-level waste are contaminated laboratory waste, such as paper, plastic, glassware and protective clothing, contaminated soil, and discarded smoke detectors and emergency exit signs.

Australia currently has legacy holdings of around 4,248.28m3 of low-level radioactive waste, with annual generation being approximately 40m3.

Intermediate-level solid waste – temporary storage

Man moving barrels

The facility will temporarily store intermediate-level radioactive waste. This contains radioactive material at a concentration that requires shielding for safe handling and transport. Examples of intermediate-level waste include waste from the production of radiopharmaceuticals, waste generated by the reprocessing of spent research reactor fuel and disused radioactive sources from industry and medicine.

In line with international best practice, solid intermediate-level waste is placed in special shielded containers and is managed within interim purpose-built, engineered facilities.

Australia currently has legacy holdings of around 656.5m3 of intermediate-level radioactive waste, with annual generation being approximately 5m3.

Intermediate-level materials are permanently solidified and immobilised in vitrified glass, synroc or concrete.

They will then be placed inside an appropriately classed storage container that provides a very high level of physical security and almost complete shielding of any radioactivity.

Reprocessed waste materials are stored in a 110 tonne stainlessteel TN81 canister - the tall, cream-coloured container pictured right. Each end on containers such as these have impact limiters to protect them from high speed projectiles and crashes.

They can withstand a drop of 9 metres, temperatures of about 800 degrees Celsius and a jet plane strike.