The Australian government has approved the construction of a new research reactor to replace the HIFAR facility at the Lucas Heights research centre near Sydney. The new 20 MW pool type reactor costing Aus$268 million ($180 million), will be used for medical applications and international neutron research, and should be commissioned by the end of 2005. The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) expects the request for tender will be issued later this year to the four pre-qualified vendors: Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd; INVAP SE (Argentina); Siemens AG (Germany) and Technicatome (France).
The government has also increased funding to ANSTO by Aus$5 million ($3.3 million). The money is principally to implement a waste management action plan at Lucas Heights. The extra money brings ANSTO’s total budget to Aus$110 million ($73 million) for the financial year 1999-2000.