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Title: Safely managing Australia's radioactive waste
Authors: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Keywords: ANSTO
Radioactive waste management
Waste storage
Waste management
Issue Date: 9-Dec-2015
Publisher: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Citation: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. (2015). Safely managing Australia's radioactive waste. Lucas Heights, NSW: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.
Abstract: In Australia, radioactive waste is only produced from beneficial uses of radioactive materials in medicine, research and industry - and the operation of the research reactor at ANSTO. The waste is made up of radioactive material that has no foreseeable further use. Just like car batteries, mobile phones and some household chemicals, this material requires particular procedures and methods for its management, storage and disposal. Australian governments impose strict controls on radioactive waste management including treatment to convert the waste into a solid stable form and measurement to determine the amount of radioactivity. At present, more than 100 sites across Australia are licenced to store low and intermediate level radioactive materials on an interim basis. This includes sites at ANSTO, as well as in metropolitan areas and regional towns and cities. Although safe, these storage conditions are temporary or not designed for disposal and long term storage. Many of those facilities are also nearing capacity. As per international best practice, purpose-built national facility is the safest and most cost effective way to manage radioactive waste disposal and storage over the long term. The Australian Government is currently seeking an appropriate site for Australia’s national radioactive waste management facility.
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