About radioactive waste management
The use and production of radioactive materials generates radioactive waste that must be managed safely and appropriately.
Radioactive waste management involves the treatment, conditioning, transportation, storage and disposal of all categories of radioactive wastes, including administrative, operational and safety-related activities.
The primary objective of radioactive waste management is to isolate radioactive waste from people and the environment for the period that the waste remains hazardous.
Further information is provided on the following pages:
Glossary of terms
A list of terms commonly used when discussing matters related to radioactive materials.
Maralinga and British Nuclear Testing in Australia
Between 1952 and 1963 the British Government, with the agreement and support of the Australian Government, carried out nuclear weapon tests at three sites in Australia.
Radiation and radioactive waste
Radiation comes from both naturally occurring radioactive elements left over from formation of the Earth, and from cosmic radiation. The use of radioactive materials and radiation plays a significant role in everyday life, and can offer numerous benefits to society through its variety of applications including medical, agricultural and industrial. Production of small quantities of radioactive waste is an inevitable consequence of the use of radioactive materials.
Radiation safety involves the protection of people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionising radiation.
Radioactive waste management in Australia
In Australia, the safe use, transport and disposal of radioactive materials is governed by Commonwealth, state and territory acts and regulations, as well as numerous international obligations, standards and treaties.