The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has revealed that the establishment of a radioactive waste facility at Kimba in South Australia was a step closer with the introduction of legislation to support the development.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt said the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 legislation would provide certainty to the nuclear medicine industry.
“More than 80 per cent of Australia’s radioactive waste stream is associated with the production of nuclear medicine which, on average, one in two Australians will need during their lifetime,” Mr Pitt said.
“If we want the benefits of nuclear applications, which are used in the diagnosis of heart and lung conditions and the treatment of specific cancers, we have to deal responsibly with the waste produced and that is exactly what the Government is doing.”
He said a site to store Australia’s radioactive waste had been sought for more than 40 years, with waste currently spread over more than 100 locations from hospitals and universities to science facilities.
“The Bill delivers on the Government’s commitment to site the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Napandee, near Kimba and enables the establishment of a $20 million Community Fund,” he said.
“This $20 million fund will support long-term infrastructure and development priorities for Kimba, delivering on our funding commitments to the Kimba community.”
He said the Napandee site was identified as suitable following a four-year technical and community assessment process.