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National radiation dose register announced.



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

NATIONAL RADIATION DOSE REGISTER ANNOUNCED The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, has announced $2 million in funding for the development of the Australian National Radiation Dose Register. The Dose Register will involve the collection, storage and auditing of radiological dose histories for uranium industry workers across Australia.

Initially, the Dose Register will focus on uranium mining and exploration workers, but could be extended to cover all workers exposed to radioactive substances in other industries. The Australian National Radiation Dose Register is due to be completed in late 2009.

Speaking at the Australasian Radiation Protection Society Conference, Minister Ferguson noted the importance of the dose register for workers in the uranium industry, and drew on his experience as a union official in supporting the development of the register.

Minister Ferguson said: "The Australian Government is

committed to strengthening occupational

health and safety requirements for employees working at uranium mines. The Dose Register is an important milestone in the Government's commitment to the safety and long-term wellbeing of uranium workers.

"It reflects a partnership between the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, industry, the South Australian and Northern Territory Governments, and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency. By ensuring dose records are collected and stored on a national basis total worker doses can be comprehensively tracked from one site to another across jurisdictions. As such, we will be in a much better position to ensure workers are in compliance with world's best practic

e

radiological dose limits."

The Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, welcomed the role to be played by ARPANSA in implementing this national initiative. Senator McLucas noted ARPANSA’s continued development of a Safety Guide on the assessment of occupational dose to uranium miners which will ensure greater uniformity in assessment of doses and the long term safety of employees working at uranium mines.

Minister Ferguson also outlined his support for the Australian uranium industry and the stringent requirements and safeguards the Australian Government puts on Australian uranium exports.

"There is enormous growth potential in nuclear power worldwide, both in response to climate change and energy security concerns, but Australia will not promote development at any cost.

"The Australian Government's policy is not to use nuclear power here in Australia but we can adopt a leadership position to ensure our uranium reserves are used responsibly to support those countries which use uranium for peaceful purposes.

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The H

on Martin Ferguson AM MP

22 Sep 2008

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"We will only allow exports of uranium from mines that have been approved by the respective state or territory government, and we will only export uranium to countries which observe the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and have a bilateral safeguards agreement with

Australia," Minister Ferguson said.

"Australia has around 30 per cent of the world's uranium deposits but only supplies around 19 per cent of the world's primary uranium production. By developing our world class deposits, Australia has the potential to become the dominant player in the world uranium market. I look forward to working with State and Territory governments, and the industry, to increase Australia's uranium export capacity," Minister Ferguson said.

Media contact: Tracey Winters (Minister Ferguson's Office) 0439 991 730 Mark Davis (Senator McLucas's office) 0417 684 096

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