Project number (if known):
Waste Storage Area
Summary of business case
Between the late 1920’s to the 1970’s, the Commonwealth Radiation Laboratory (CRL) existed on a site
at University of Melbourne (UoM). The activities that were conducted at the CRL during this time
resulted in legacy contamination. Because of this the Commonwealth (represented by ARPANSA) is
accepting responsibility for the waste produced from remediation of the site. Approximately 210 drums
containing soil and building material contaminated with radium-226 require storage in a licenced
radioactive waste storage facility.
While the activities were carried out by a predecessor to ARPANSA, it is considered good practice that
ARPANSA take care of the legacy. ARPANSA expects other organisations to take care of their legacy
waste, as such we should lead by example.
The drums of legacy low-level radioactive waste are to be transferred to the Yallambie site from
Melbourne University. Several options have been considered in a SWOT analysis (attached), where the
construction of an area to store the waste within the ARPANSA building is the preferred option.
Recommendations – what would you like the EG to approve?
The EG previously approved;
- The proposed direction, including where the legacy waste should be located (within
- The transportation costs for the initial tranche of 72 drums (approximately $5K)
- Commissioning of the design for the proposed storage areas 47G - business
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The EG will be asked to approve the budget for the building cost following design completion and receipt
of the tender bids. Based on the design, we expect the costs to be circa $250K.
Why are we doing this project? What problem are we trying to solve? What is the current state? Try to
summarise in five dot points.
• ARPANSA has accepted responsibility for the management of legacy waste generated during the
remediation of a UoM building currently under remediation.
• The UoM site was once operated by the Commonwealth as the Commonwealth Radiation
Laboratory (CRL) from the late 1920’s to the 1970’s. The activities that were conducted at the
CRL during this time resulted in legacy contamination. Because of this the Commonwealth
(represented by ARPANSA) is accepting responsibility for the waste produced from remediation
of the site.
• Approximately 210 drums containing soil and building material contaminated with radium-226
require storage in a licenced radioactive waste storage facility.
• ARPANSA’s licensed waste storage area has limited capacity for accepting more waste, however
parts of the Yallambie site are under-used and may be adapted for low-level waste storage. A
SWOT Analysis (available on request) has been used to identify the preferred option, that has
been approved by the EG.
• The first tranche of 72 drums will be stored onsite (as soon as April 2018) as an expansion to the
current source licence until the new storage area is completed, pending regulatory approvals.
The work that needs to be accomplished to deliver a product, service or result with the specified
features and functions.
Work to deliver a safe and secure area for appropriate storage of the legacy radioactive waste includes:
• Design of storage area
• Tender process
• Building works
• Regulatory approvals
Transportation and storage of drums
How long wil each stage of the project take to complete?
The first tranche of 72 drums will arrive at Yallambie during April 2018.
The Designer was engaged late-March. Design completion by mid-May. Tender
process will mean a builder is engaged in June.
It is expected that the project wil be closed by end of 2018 at the latest.
How much wil the project cost – from costing tool, updated from project proposal phase if any new
information is known
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Design -s 47G - business
Relocation of Linac Chiller - $30K (aligns with Linac project)
Building - $250K
Transportation – 2 shipments @ $5K each.
How wil these costs be funded – does this project require additional funding from what has been
approved in branch budgets?
Funding for capital will come from RHS 2017/18 budget (up to $250K).
Smal er costs, such as drums, transport and design, have not been budgeted for in 2017/18 (spent under
RSO cost centre).
Work health & safety
Are there WHS implications for our people of either doing or not doing this project? Discuss with WHS
WH&S adviser has been consulted during this project.
There are no radiological dose implications from the drums (zero dose rate), and radon will be managed
in accordance with best-practice.
Transportation will be undertaken with a registered and experienced transport company.
Are there any security implications with this project? Discuss with Agency Security Adviser
Security implications have been discussed and advice incorporated into design of the storage area.
What are the risks of doing or not doing the project?
The major risks to the Agency are;
• Reputational – ARPANSA must store its radioactive waste safely and securely in accordance with
the relevant regulations and also to meet international best practice. It would be reputationally
damaging to the Agency to do otherwise. There is some risk that the acceptance of this waste
wil be perceived badly by the immediate neighbours (see Communication activities below).
• Cost – This is an unbudgeted activity with potential for high costs.
The SWOT analysis has identified these risks, and several options have been excluded due to the
potential reputational effect. Costs are still being determined and will be communicated regularly to the
EG as more information becomes available.
Are there any legislative requirements to consider? If yes, please describe.
The ARPANSA Act and Regulations must be met as regulatory requirements will need to be satisfied.
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What is the change (define the difference between current and future state)?
The additional radioactive waste will initially be managed as a part of the Yallambie source licence
(S0002). The newly constructed storage area will undergo appropriate regulatory scrutiny.
What is the Change Impact (define the impact the change wil have, noting there may be multiple
impacts for each change)?
The radioactive waste wil need to be managed while in storage at the Yallambie facility in accordance
with regulatory requirements.
Communications have been coordinated in liaison with P&C (see below).
Capability – do we have the capability required to deliver on this project? If not, what is the plan for
Capacity – do we have the available capacity to deliver on this project? If not, what is the plan for
Consultations have been held with the Staff Consultative Forum (SCF), OCEO (on Communications),
groups impacted by Linac downtime, Agency Security and ARPANSA WHS. A lengthy discussion was held
at the SMC on communication externally (see next paragraph). These consultations are ongoing. Communication activities
There are no community awareness opportunities relating to this item.
Consultation with the OCEO Communications team and the SMC have determined that this activity can
be considered to be ‘business as usual’. As such, external communications are not recommended.
Communications with staff have been held via ISAAC, with several staff taking the opportunity to discuss
the project one-to-one. No staff have expressed discomfort with the proposal at this stage.
Staff communication is ongoing, and has been coordinated in liaison with P&C.
A Talkshop will be given to update staff on the current status before the first tranche of drums is
Behavioural change management plan
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The storage area will be safe and secure and appropriately labelled for staff. No behavioural change will
Management of the waste wil be undertaken by the RSO consistent with current source licensing.
Have we consulted with al of the relevant people?
See above (communication).
Are there any opportunities to work with other parts of the agency?
Col aboration has been undertaken with RHS (MERS & RPS) and the RSO.
Pre-project completion interdependencies – are we waiting for another project to be completed
before this project can begin?
Consideration needs to be given to the timing of the Linac project.
Post-project completion interdependencies – does another project rely on the successful completion
of this project?
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