Opposition energy spokesman Nick Minchin said the coalition had long recognised the need for a central repository, but when in government, had its efforts frustrated by state Labor governments.
"It is much more sensible for waste, resulting from medical and research procedures, to be stored in a secure, specifically designated facility rather than in an ad hoc fashion in various locations across the country, as is currently the case, he said.
Labor kept an election promise by repealing the coalition's Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005.
It is now considering Muckaty Station, 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek, in the Northern Territory, as the site for the facility.
The former coalition government also considered the site, after it was volunteered by its traditional owners.
Meanwhile, federal parliament's public works committee is holding an inquiry into proposed extensions to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) facility at Lucas Heights, in Sydney's south.
The $62.5 million project would include a new building for the Centre for Accelerator Science, to enhance Australia's capacity for research into climate and environmental science, nuclear safeguards and forensics.
The committee will examine whether the need, cost and scope of the proposal is appropriate.