Nuclear actions are:
- establishing or significantly modifying a nuclear installation
- transporting spent nuclear fuel or radioactive waste products arising from reprocessing
- establishing or significantly modifying a facility for storing radioactive waste products arising from reprocessing
- mining or milling uranium ores
- establishing or significantly modifying a large-scale disposal facility for radioactive waste
- decommissioning or rehabilitating any facility or area in which an activity described in paragraphs (a) to (e) above has been undertaken
- any other type of action set out in the EPBC Regulations.
- For the avoidance of doubt, proposed projects involving the recovery of sands or rare earths may constitute a ‘nuclear action’ if the proposed project falls within the above definition.
- A decision about whether a disposal facility is large scale will depend on factors including the activity of the radioactive materials to be disposed of (see regulation 2.02 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Regulations 2000).
Protecting the environment from nuclear actions
The EPBC Act recognises the protection of the environment from nuclear actions as a matter of national environmental significance.
A nuclear action will require approval if it has, will have, or is likely to have a significant impact on the environment. Nuclear actions should be referred to the Minister and undergo an environmental assessment and approval process.
- Assessment and approval process
- Protected matters search tool — use the tool to find matters of national environmental significance in your area of interest
- Significant impact guidelines — matters of national environmental significance