ACT News

Environment Minister Simon Corbell says radioactive waste is not welcome in ACT

The ACT government would reject any moves to build a radioactive waste facility in the territory, its deputy leader has said. 

Environment Minister Simon Corbell said he doubted the nation's smallest jurisdiction - half of which is covered by national parks and state forests - would make the federal government's cut for a new site.

Stored drums of low-level radioactive waste at Lucas Heights in Sydney.
Stored drums of low-level radioactive waste at Lucas Heights in Sydney. Photo: Peter Rae

"It is extremely unlikely there is any land suitable in the ACT for this activity," he said. 

Earlier this month the federal government called for nominations from landholders of any state or territory for a site for a national permanent radioactive waste management facility. The site would allow for the storage and disposal of "low level and intermediate level waste", produced in Australia from a range of scientific and industrial/medical activities. 

Shortlisted sites will be considered against criteria including a stable environment, economic viability, and health, safety and security. 

A spokeswoman for the Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said details of the nominated sites would be made public after all applications were received and the minister had considered them.


The spokeswoman said the majority of Australia's radioactive waste was stored by the Commonwealth at two sites, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation campus at Lucas Heights and the CSIRO facility at Woomera in South Australia.

The Defence Department, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, state and territory governments and other scientific, industrial and research organisations also stored some waste. 

Australia does not produce or store high level radioactive waste, the federal government said.

If you want to put forward your land to be bought for the project, you have until May 5.