Sites for nuclear reactors in Australia

Click here to download a 2007 report by The Australia Institute which uses standard nuclear reactor siting criteria to identify the most likely locations for nuclear power reactors in Australia.

Using four primary criteria and six secondary criteria, The Australia Institute identified the following sites:

In Queensland:
Rockhampton (e.g. around Yeppoon, Emu Park or Keppel Sands)
Sunshine Coast (e.g. near Maroochydore, Coolum or Noosa)
Bribie Island area

In New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory:
Port Stephens (e.g. Nelson Bay)
Central Coast (e.g. near Tuggerah Lakes)
Port Kembla
Botany Bay
Jervis Bay and Sussex Inlet

In Victoria:
South Gippsland (e.g. Yarram, Woodside, Seaspray)
Western Port (e.g. French Island, Hastings, Kooweerup, Coronet Bay)
Port Phillip (e.g. Newport, Werribee, Avalon)

In South Australia:
Mt Gambier/Millicent
Port Adelaide
Port Augusta and Port Pirie

Western Australia and the Northern Territory were excluded from the Australia Institute siting study because they are  not on the National Electricity Market grid. The report does not consider Tasmania in any detail and considers it unlikely that a nuclear power plant would be constructed in Tasmania in the short to medium term.

Siting criteria

The study used four primary criteria for the siting of nuclear power plants in Australia:

1. Proximity to appropriate existing electricity infrastructure; sites close to the National Electricity Market, preferably near existing large generators;

2. Proximity to major centres of electricity demand;

3. Proximity to transport infrastructure to facilitate the movement of nuclear fuel, waste and other relevant materials; and

4. Access to large quantities of water for reactor cooling − coastal sites

Secondary criteria included the following:

1. Population density − sites with adequate buffers to populated areas.

2. Geological and seismological issues.

3. Atmospheric conditions − sites with low risk of extreme weather events and suitable pollution dispersion conditions.

4. Security risk  − sites with low security risks (e.g. sufficient buffers to potentially hazardous areas).

5. Sensitive ecological areas − sites that pose minimal risk to important ecological areas.

6. Heritage and aesthetics − sites that pose minimal risk to important heritage areas.

7. Economic factors – sites that accommodate local economic and social factors.