Assessing a site

Nominated sites are first evaluated using a desktop assessment and a multi-criteria site analysis methodology. This process is an established, fair, transparent and rational method of assessing complex data. It is widely used to assist with complex decision making processes commonly used in government and industry where ranking and selecting options or sites is required.

Community wellbeing, the stability and protection of the environment, economic viability, health, safety, security and equity are all considered during this initial stage.

This process involves scoring sites against a range of criteria which have been weighted according to their level of importance for the first stage of the project.  The scores for each criterion are consolidated to provide an overall score for each site.

If the site is progressed to a minimum 60 day consultation period, locals are then surveyed. The Minister will then determine if any sites should progress to the site technical assessment stage.

Shortlisting a site

Sites will only be shortlisted to move to the technical assessment stage if there is broad community support.

The only shortlisted site so far - Wallerberdina Station, near Hawker, South Australia - was selected based on feedback from the community.

Technical assessment stage

Work during this stage will ultimately inform whether the site is technically suitable for a radioactive waste facility.

It will assess the environmental aspects and cultural heritage of the nominated site.

Specialists will work closely with the local community and this work is expected to take up to a year. Technical and heritage assessment activities will not have any significant impact on neighbours or the local community. Where necessary, work will be scheduled in consultation with neighbours, to ensure potential disruptions are minimised.

The department will also be in contact with the broader community through a consultative committee, to keep everyone informed of activities and respond to concerns.