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Thursday, 18 September 1958

Mr Ward d asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice: -

1.   When did the Australian Atomic Energy Commission first arrange with the Meteorological Bureau and the Commonwealth X-ray and Radium Laboratory to measure radio-activity in air and dust throughout Australia?

2.   How many checking stations are distributed throughout the Commonwealth?

3.   What is the nature of the reports received to date?

Mr Townley (DENISON, TASMANIA) (Minister for Supply) - The Minister for National Development has replied as follows: -

1.   The Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee is responsible for the Australia-wide monitoring of atmospheric radio-activity. In 1956, a number of stations was first set up throughout Australia. Most of these stations are still operated by the Bureau of Meteorology. Commonwealth X-ray and Radium Laboratory is continuing to analyse the samples. The data are correlated by the Safety Committee. The Australian Atomic Energy Commission has operated one station in Sydney.

2.   At present there are 24 stations in operation. The network is expanded to more than 80 stations during weapon trials held in Australia.

3.   The results of the measurements carried out for it are published from time to time by the Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee in scientific journals in this country (e.g., the " Australian Journal of Science ").

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