Thiess rehabilitated the heavily contaminated Maralinga Test Site which is considered a world benchmark in the rehabilitation of a radiologically hazardous area.

The Maralinga Test Site in South Australia was used by the British Government to test a variety of atomic devices between 1953 and 1963. As a result, the site became contaminated with long-life radioactive materials and could not be inhabited by local communities or traditional owners.

The primary health risk associated with the site was the presence of plutonium in the soil.  The Federal Department of Primary Industries and Energy established a Technical Assessment Group to determine and report on the options and costs for decontamination and rehabilitation of the site.

Thiess brought to this project our blend of innovative contaminated site remediation and our proven capability in bulk earthworks, logistics, industrial relations and remote area project delivery.

The surface rehabilitation involved the collection and deep burial of nearly 400,000m3 of contaminated soil from more than 3,400,000m2 of arid ground, extensive vacuuming and sweeping of rock surfaces, and the exhumation of burial pits. We also designed and constructed all necessary infrastructure to carry out the works in a safe and efficient manner.

Our team completed this project 13 months ahead of schedule and under budget, with no radiological incidents and zero Lost Time Injuries in 603 days of operation. We ensured safe use of the land by the Maralinga Tjarutja Aboriginal tribe, who engage in a semi-traditional lifestyle in the area.