John hollandJohn Holland

In partnership with Argentinian company INVAP and Downer Engineering, John Holland successfully replaced Australia’s only nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights, near Sydney in 2005.

Replacement Nuclear Reactor for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

Australia’s only nuclear research reactor was replaced to create a state-of-the-art multi-purpose reactor used by members of the scientific, medical, environmental, agricultural and industrial communities as well as Australian universities.

The reactor has multiple applications to benefit research into human health, how to support a more sustainable environment and provide innovative solutions for industry.

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 scope of work included a purpose designed facility of approximately 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.

Construction and operation of the facility complied fully with national and international health, safety, environmental and quality standards. The independent Commonwealth body ARPANSA (Aust Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) was established to regulate all Australian Federal Government nuclear and radiation related activities.

The total project value was $300 million, with JHEDI responsible for the design and construction of $160 million of this work.

  • Customer
    Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)
  • Location
    Lucas Heights, New South Wales
  • Specialisation
    Education & research
  • Start
    July 2000
  • End
    November 2005
The team delivered the bulk of the construction work for the project with over 350 jobs created during construction.
ANSTO - internal controlroom.jpg
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 providing a research facility for post-graduate students.


John Holland pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Custodiams of the land on which we work and live, and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples today.