Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia


  Annual Report 1998-99



Nuclear Material within Australia at 30 June 1999.

Category Quantity1 Intended End-use
Source Material
Uranium ore concentrates (UOC) 1,051 tonnes U3O8 Exports for energy use pursuant to bilateral agreements
Natural Uranium
(other than UOC)
11,126 kg Research and shielding
Depleted Uranium 10,246 kg Research and shielding
Thorium 61,035 kg Research, industry
Special Fissionable Material
Uranium-235 270,771 g2 Research, industry, radioisotope production
Uranium-233 4 g Research
(except Pu-238)3
2,063 g4 Research, neutron sources

1. These figures are based on reports received pursuant to Permit requirements and were correct at the time of preparing this Annual Report.

2. Most of the uranium-235 in Australia is contained in irradiated fuel elements which have been used in ANSTO’s HIFAR reactor. The figure given here is based on the weight of U-235 in each fuel element before irradiation, in accordance with the accounting convention used in the application of IAEA safeguards to HIFAR and Moata fuel prior to shipment from ANSTO. The actual quantity of U-235, taking into account reactor burnup, is about 162 kg.

3. Plutonium with an isotopic concentration of plutonium-238 exceeding 80% is exempt from safeguards.

4. Because of the IAEA accounting convention mentioned above, this figure does not include any plutonium in irradiated reactor fuel. However this quantity is very small and in the event of reprocessing of the fuel, the contained plutonium is considered practicably irrecoverable.


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