ANSTO Replacement Nuclear Research Reactor

ANSTO Nuclear Reactor and Research Centre, NSW

In July 2000 John Holland’s alliance with the Argentine company INVAP S.E., and Queensland’s Evans Deakin Industries (now Downer Engineering) was awarded the contract for the design and construction of ANSTO’s Replacement Research Reactor at Lucas Heights, near Sydney.

The John Holland Evans Deakin Industries Joint Venture (JHEDI) provided design of the building, civil, infrastructure and non-nuclear electrical, process instrumentation and mechanical works. The team delivered the bulk of the construction work for the project with manning levels exceeding 60 staff and 300 in the on-site workforce.

John Holland has a proud tradition in delivering complex turnkey engineering projects and ANSTO’s Replacement Research Reactor fits well with this tradition. The discipline prescribed by John Holland’s mature integrated management system was instrumental in ensuring the successful continuation of John Holland’s proven track record.

ANSTO’s replacement research reactor has many uses; supplying isotopes for medical and industrial needs, ensuring key technical expertise is maintained; providing a neutron beam research facility and also a research facility for post-graduate students. With thermal power of 20MW, it is substantially lower than that of a nuclear power station and the waste heat produced is insufficient for electricity generation.

The total project value was $300 million, with JHEDI responsible for the design and construction of some $160M of this work. The scope of work included a purpose designed facility of some 14,000m2, which comprises the reactor building, neutron guide hall, support offices and laboratories, visitor centre and auxiliary plant building, all set in a landscaped natural bushland environment.  


  • 2006 Australian Construction Achievement Award Finalist