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Nuclear Waste Dump

Estimates & Committees
Scott Ludlam 26 Oct 2010

Senator LUDLAM-I want to come to a budget allocation about which I spoke briefly to DEEWR officers earlier in the year, an allocation in the federal budget of just over $8 million for addressing management of Australia's radioactive waste through the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Facility that allocations quite heavily frontloaded with nearly $4½ million allocated to the current financial year. Has any of that money been allocated to upgrading waste management or storage facilities at the Lucas Heights reactor complex?

Mr McIntosh-The answer is no.

Senator LUDLAM-If the Northern Territory radioactive waste facility proposed for Muckaty does not go ahead or it does not go ahead on the time line the department is considering for it, when would work to upgrade the Lucas Heights waste storage need to commence to meet the expected reprocessed spent fuel return dates of mid-2015 to 2016?

Mr McIntosh-As well as the physical work you would aware that would be proceeded by licensing processes and probably an examination under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. That paperwork would probably have to commence in 2011-12-that would be my judgment. The physical work-it is a fairly basic facility-would only take six to 12 months, but the paperwork would have to be started in 2011-12.

Senator LUDLAM-You would commence a licensing process or licensing applications the next financial year in order to meet a return time line of 2015-16?

Mr McIntosh-Yes.

Senator LUDLAM-What does the actual construction time line look like? Is that a year or less?

Mr McIntosh-The construction timeline would be somewhere around a year, yes.

Senator LUDLAM-That is helpful.

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