Current waste management

Australia’s waste is currently stored at more than 100 licensed sites nationally. Australia has about two Olympic-sized swimming pools of low and intermediate waste made up of:

  • About 4250 m3 of low-level waste, of which:
    • almost half is stored at the ANSTO facility at Lucas Heights, Sydney
    • about half is located at Woomera at a CSIRO research facility.
  • 656 m3 of intermediate-level waste, of which:
    • 451m3 is held at Lucas Heights, Sydney
    • smaller quantities are stored by CSIRO and the Department of Defence.
    • 100m3, or about two standard shipping containers, which is held across various institutions in the states and territories.

ANSTO’s facility at Lucas Heights is running out of space to store the waste.

How much is currently produced in Australia?

Australia produces a very small quantity of low and intermediate level radioactive waste.

Each year, the amount of low-level waste generated is less than 40 cubic metres, smaller than one shipping container.

By comparison, Britain and France each produce around 25,000 cubic metres of low-level waste annually—over 600 times more than Australia.