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Tuesday, 25 March 1997
Page: 2381


Senator LEES (Deputy Leader of the Australian Democrats) —I give notice that, on 15 May, I shall move on behalf of Senator Stott Despoja and myself:

(1)   That the following matter, relating to Australia's need for a nuclear reactor, be referred to the Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts References Committee for inquiry and report:

   The manufacturing of neutrons, with particular reference to:

   (a)   whether Australia has a need for a neutron source, and whether this source needs to be in Australia;

   (b)   whether the High Flux Australian Reactor (HIFAR) at Lucas Heights should be retained and maintained as a neutron source;

   (c)   what alternative technology is available to replace HIFAR at Lucas Heights if a neutron source is necessary;

   (d)   what alternative technology is available to meet Australia's neutron requirements if a neutron source is necessary;

   (e)   the benefits and risks of any alternative technology; and

   (f)   the relative safety of any alternative technology.

(2)   That the committee undertake:

   (a)   an assessment of the current Lucas Heights facility, in relation to:

      (i)   the need for the reactor,

      (ii)   the current level of safety of the reactor,

      (iii)   the future safety of the reactor,

      (iv)   what measures would be necessary to guarantee the long-term safety of the reactor, and

      (v)   the likely health and safety impacts of continuing with this facility at Lucas Heights to:

         (a)   the local environment around the facility,

         (b)   the local workers at the facility,

         (c)   the community around the facility, and

         (d)   Australia; and

   (b)   a review of the findings and recommendations of the 1993 Research Reactor Review (the McKinnon report).