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Monday, 15 September 2003
Page: 20115

Mr McClelland asked the Minister for Education, Science and Training, upon notice, on 27 May 2003:

Since question No. 1355 was placed on the Notice Paper (5 February 2003), has there been an event in the construction of the new nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights that has the potential to delay the completion date for the project.

Dr Nelson (Minister for Education, Science and Training) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Significant rain has led to the loss of a few working days.

In addition, and as discussed during Senate Estimates proceedings on 3 and 4 June 2003, there has been an error in cutting penetrations in the reactor pool tank. A proposal for rectifying the error has recently been approved by Dr John Loy, the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), on the basis of advice from experts in welded structures and the particular stainless steel being used in this project. ANSTO does not expect this issue to lead to an overall delay in construction of the replacement research reactor.

Dr Loy's decision and the reasons for it are provided on the ARPANSA website.