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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 65

(Question No. 4704)


Mr Tickner asked the Minister representing the Minister for Resources and Energy, upon notice, on 7 October 1986:

Has the Minister's attention been drawn to a copy of a document entitled ``An Assessment of the Safety of the Nuclear Reactors HIFAR and MOATA, operating at the Australian Atomic Energy Commission's Research Establishment at Lucas Heights'' prepared by the Lucas Heights Study Group for the Nuclear Free N.S.W. Coalition; if so, will the Minister ensure that a full investigation is made into the allegations and the results are made public.


Mr Barry Jones —The Minister for Resources and Energy has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

A copy of the Lucas Heights Study Group (LHSG) assessment has been forwarded to me both by the LHSG and by the honourable member himself. As most of the issues addressed in the assessment either have been dealt with in previous correspondence with the LHSG (for example, as I explained in a letter dated 14 July 1986 to the LHSG, the reflective layer of graphite in HIFAR is not subject to the conditions which could conceivably cause it to ignite as claimed by the statement on p2 of the assessment) or have been taken out of context from Australian Atomic Energy Commission publications, they do not raise genuine safety issues of a kind that would warrant further investigation.

As I have pointed out on other occasions, both the Commission's reactors have operated with excellent safety records since being commissioned.