Nuclear stewardship and waste


Nuclear stewardship and waste fact sheet (PDF 442.19 KB)


For over 60 years the United Kingdom and United States have operated more than 500 naval nuclear reactors that have collectively travelled more than 240 million kilometres without a single radiological incident.

UK and US SSNs (nuclear-powered submarines) have never experienced a reactor accident, or release of radioactive material, that has had an adverse effect on human health or the quality of the environment.

A sophisticated security and safety architecture will surround Australia's nuclear-powered submarine program, building on our 70-year unblemished track record of operating nuclear facilities and conducting nuclear science activities.

As a responsible nuclear steward, Australia will manage all radioactive waste generated by its own Virginia Class and SSN-AUKUS submarines, including radioactive waste generated through operations, maintenance and decommissioning.

All waste, including spent fuel, will be managed safely, informed by international best practice and in accordance with Australia's international and domestic legal obligations and commitments.

Australia will continue to leverage decades of experience in safely and securely managing radioactive waste, and will be supported by the UK and US, whose experience and advice will support Australia in building this capability.