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Atomic Energy Act - Australian Atomic Energy Commission - Report and financial statements, together with Auditor-General's Report - Year - 1972-73 (21st)

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1973— Parliamentary Paper No. 315






Presented pursuant to Statute 25 October 1973

Ordered to be printed 5 December 1973



AUSTRALIAN ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION The Minister of State for National Development

The Honourable Sir Reginald Swartz, K.B.E., E.D., M.P.

(To 2 December 1972)

The Minister of State for Minerals and Energy

The Honourable R. F. X. Connor, M.P. (From 18 December 1972)

Members of the Commission During the Year 1 9 7 2 -7 3


R. W. Boswell, O.B.E., M.Sc.

Deputy Chairman

R. G. Ward, M.A., Ph.D.(Cantab.)


K. F. Alder, M.Sc., F.I.M.

L. F. Bott, D.S.C., B.Com. (To 11 January 1973)

Sir Lenox Hewitt, O.B.E., B.Com., F.A.S.A., A.C.I.S., L.C.A, (From 11 January 19*73)

M. C. Timbs, B.Ec., A.A.S.A., F.A.I.M. (To 7 February 1973) (Executive Member)


W. B. Lynch, B.A.



To the Honourable R. F. X. Connor, M.P.,

Minister of State for Minerals and Energy,

Parliament House,

Canberra, A.C.T.


In accordance with Section 31 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1953-66, we submit the Twenty-first Annual Report of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission, covering the Commission’s operations for the financial year ended 30 June 1973.

Financial accounts for the year, with a report on the accounts by the Auditor General as required by the Act, are appended to the report. A statement of the Commission’s capital assets as at 30 June 1973 is also appended to the accounts.

Yours faithfully,

R. W. BOSWELL, Chairman.

R. G. WARD, Deputy Chairman.

K. F. ALDER, Member.

C. L. HEWITT, Member.

45 Beach Street, Coogee, N.S.W. 2034

21 August 1973



Appointed under Section 20 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1953-66

Safety Review Committee

Professor Sir Sydney Sunderland, C.M.G., M.D., B.S., D.Sc., F.R.A.C.P., F.R.A.C.S., F.A.A., Chairman.

Dr. C. J. Cummins, M.B., B.S., D.P.H.

D. J. Stevens, O.B.E., B.Sc., A.Inst.P.

Function: To review periodically the health and safety standards and procedures adopted by the Commission in the operation of its reactors and in the use of radiation, radioactive

substances, and toxic materials.

Atomic Energy Advisory Committee

A. W. B. Coady, C.M.G., B.A., B.Ec.

Sir Willis Connolly, C.B.E., B.E.E., B.Com., M.I.E.Aust.

Sir Lionel Hooke, S.M.I.R.Amer., F.I.R.E.Aust.

Professor M. C. Kemp, B.Com., M.A., Ph.D.

Sir John Phillips, K.B.E., B.Ec.

Professor J. W. Roderick, M.A.fCamb.), M.Sc., Ph.D.(Bristol), F.A.A., Μ.I.Struct.E., M.I.C.E., A.F.R.Ae.S., M.I.E.Aust., M.A.S.C.E.

R. A. Simpson, B.E., F.S.A.S.M., M.I.E.Aust.

Professor R. Street, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.fLond.)

L. W. Weickhardt, M.Sc., F.R.A.C.I., F.A.I.M.

Function: To advise the Commission on scientific, industrial and economic matters relating to atomic energy research and development.


C ontents

1 INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY ................................................. 9

Nuclear Power ........................................................................................ 9

Uranium ..................................................................................................... 10

Radioisotopes ................................................ 11

Special Facilities ........................................................................................ 12

International .............................................................................................. 12

General ..................................................................................................... 12

2 NUCLEAR POWER ................................................................................. 13

Review of World Developments .............................................................. 13

Australia ..................................................................................................... 18

Licensing and Regulation of Nuclear Energy .................................... 20

Nuclear Power Assessment Studies ................................ 22

Research Studies ........................................................................................ 23

Tables of World Nuclear Power Stations 26

3 URANIUM .................................................................................................. 33

World Supply and Demand .................................................................... 33

National Programs .................................................................... 35

Australian Situation ................................................................................. 37

Exploration in A u stra lia ..................... 39

4 URANIUM PROCESSING ........... 46

Uranium Hexafluoride ......................................................................... 47

Uranium Enrichment ......................... 49

Nuclear Reactor Fuels .......................................................................... 53

Reprocessing and Recycling Power Reactor Fuel ............... 54

Treatment, Storage and Disposal of Radioactive W a ste s.............. 54

Symposium on Uranium Processing 57


Environmental Research 59

Biophysical Research 62

Public Health 63


C ontents

6 RADIOISOTOPES AND R A D IA T IO N ............................................. 65

On-Stream Analysis of Mineral S lu rries.............................................. 66

Nuclear Techniques of Analysis ........................................................... 68

Nuclear Techniques in Hydrology .................................................... 68

Termite Studies ...................................................................................... 69

Gas Flow Measurement ..................................................................... 70

Photo-Etching Using Radioisotopes .......................................................... 70

Radiation Research ..................................................................................... 72

Biological Applications of Radiation ........................................................ 73

Semiconductor Materials for Radiation Detectors ............................. 74

Radioisotope Production and Services .................................................... 75

Product Research and Development ........................................................... 78

7 RESEARCH AND RESEARCH SERVICES .......................................... 84

Engineering Services and Operations .................................................. 84

Administrative Services ............................................................................. 86

Computing Networks and Services .......................................................... 86

Safety Services ...................................................................................... 88

Library ......................................................................................................... 88

Research Publications ........................................................................... 89

Analytical Chemistry ..................................................................................... 89

Nuclear Instrumentation ............................................................................ 89

Fabrication of Reactive and Toxic M aterials.......................................... 90

Noise Analysis ....................................................................................... 90

Neutron Activation Analysis ........................................................................ 91

Neutron Radiography .............................................................................. 92

Neutron Diffraction ..................................................................................... 92

Gamma Irradiation ....................................................... 92

Electron Beam Irradiation ........................................................................ 93

8 INTERNATIONAL MATTERS ................................................................. 94

Safeguards and the Non-Proliferation Treaty ....................................... 94

Association for Centrifuge Enrichment 95

International Atomic Energy Agency .................................................... 95

Overseas Visits ..................................................................................... 96

Distinguished Visitors to the Commission 97


C ontents

9 GENERAL ..................................................................................................... 98

Change of Government and Ministers ................................................. 98

Commission Membership ......................................................................... 98

Legislation ................................................................................................... 98

Terms and Conditions of Em ploym ent.......... 99

Industrial Relations ................................................................................. 99

Senior Staff Changes ................................................................................. 99

Staff Numbers ............................................................................................ 100

Information Services ................................................................................. 100

Overseas Attachments ............................................................................... 102

Attachment to the Commission .......................................................... 102

Extramural Research ............................................................................... 102

Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering .................... 103

Australian School of Nuclear Technology ................................................ 105

Safety Review Com m ittee....................................................................... 106

Finance ....................................................................................................... 106

APPENDICES A Financial Accounts..................................................................................... 108

B Auditor General’s R e p o r t........................ 110

C Senior Staff of Com m ission.................................................................... I l l

D AAEC Research Projects ........................................................................ 114

E AAEC Research Contracts ................................................................... 116

F AINSE Research and Training P ro je c ts............... 117

G Technical Papers by Commission Staff ................................................. 121

Patent Applications ..................................... 128




The key areas of the Commission’s program are related to the present and foreseen future needs of Australia in the atomic energy field. At the present time the main contributions to the community and to national development involve radioisotopes and radiation, the former particularly for medical diagnosis.

Uranium and nuclear fuels are potentially of high importance for the near future, and considerable attention is given to the prospects for processing of uranium, including enrichment, and the aspects of the uranium industry of importance to the protection of the environment.

Australia is fortunate to possess large fossil fuel reserves, but the possible advent of nuclear power in the next decade requires long-term planning of standards, licensing, and regulatory control to ensure protection of the environ­ ment, public health and the public interest.

Assessment of the long-term implications of such nuclear developments requires awareness of problems, solutions, and progress overseas; the Com­ mission’s assessment studies in these fields are supported by its own research on topics chosen to maximise benefits within this framework.


Because of rising fossil fuel costs and environmental problems associated with conventional power, the trend in all major industrial countries is towards greater dependence on nuclear power, despite some uncertainties and problems still facing the nuclear industry.

During the past year, the net increases in world commitments for nuclear power plants was the highest for any year. New orders were placed for 64 units with a combined output of 62,543 megawatts. Forty-three of the orders, covering a total of 43,000 megawatts, were placed by US utilities. With only two excep­

tions, all the new orders were for light-water reactors. Previous orders for eight units (7,340 megawatts) were cancelled, mainly because of licensing delays. Delays are still being experienced in the construction and commissioning of new plant in a number of countries, particularly in the USA and in the United

Kingdom. The causes include late deliveries, quality assurance problems, poor construction management, labour difficulties, licensing requirements and legal challenges. However, the industry is facing up to these problems and there has been a noticeable improvement compared with the past two years.

There is a continuing trend in the major industrialised countries towards larger and larger units despite the very limited operating experience so far obtained.


This has caused some concern and, in the USA, the United States Atomic Energy Commission has placed a temporary limit of 1,300 megawatts on the output from any single nuclear unit until more operating experience has been gained. During the past year, the Commission continued its detailed technical assess­ ment of nuclear power stations based on established commercial reactor systems. This work is continuing and is being extended to include studies of high temperature gas-cooled reactors and fast breeders. These studies are aimed at establishing a sound engineering and technological understanding of the various reactor power systems primarily to advise the government and to build up the specialist support required for future licensing and regulatory control of nuclear installations to ensure adequate standards in terms of the environment, health and the public interest. The Commission is also providing advice and assistance to State authorities.


There was no production of uranium in Australia during the year. However, in contrast to the decline in world uranium exploration activity, company exploration increased in Australia and important new discoveries were made in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. Although these discoveries are not yet fully delineated, they add significantly to Australia’s already substantial reserves.

At the close of the period under review, Australia’s reasonably assured uranium resources recoverable at less than US$10 per pound uranium oxide (U3Og) had increased from 92,000 short tons the previous year to 140,000 short tons.

Reasonably assured resources in the whole of the Western World recoverable at a price up to US$10 a pound uranium oxide are estimated at 1,200,000 short tons U3Og. Of this total, Canada, South Africa and the USA control among them 75% of these presently-known resources.

Western World requirements for the nuclear power industry could reach 215,000 short tons U3Og a year by 1990 and 337,000 short tons a year by the year 2000. Cumulative Australian requirements of uranium for nuclear power to the year 2000 are estimated to be 35,000 short tons U3Os.

Should Australia become the site for a major uranium industry based on export, it could involve not only the production of the crude uranium oxide (U3Og) concentrate “yellowcake”, but conversion to uranium hexafluoride and enrichment of uranium in the fissionable isotope 235U.

In addition to continuing its own research and development program on the centrifuge method of enrichment, the Commission carried out a preliminary study, in association with the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), into the feasibility of building a large diffusion enrichment plant in Australia using French

technology. Towards the end of the period under review, the Commission joined the Association for Centrifuge Enrichment, by invitation, at its first board meeting in the United Kingdom. ACE is an international organisation formed to enable members to assess the technical and economic suitability of the centrifuge process developed by the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands.

Between now and 1980, major expansion of capacity to manufacture nuclear fuels must occur if the nuclear power programs of the Western World are to be realised. There are signs of an impending shortage, for example, in enrichment


capacity unless new plants come into operation early in the next decade. The Commission is studying these developments and their implications for the uranium industry in Australia. The Commission continued its environmental field research program in the

Northern Territory. This program, which is part of the joint Government-Industry Fact-finding Study, is designed to assess the environmental effects of proposed uranium mining and milling operations in the Alligator Rivers Uranium Field Related to this work are laboratory studies by the Commission into techniques

for purifying waste materials from uranium extraction plant.


Sales for the year of radioactive materials produced by the Commission increased by 53% over the previous period. The number of deliveries increased by 56% to more than 19,000 despite the increasing use of multi-unit packages. The major demand is for short-lived radiopharmaceuticals. These preparations are becoming increasingly important for diagnostic use in medicine. Further

impressive increases in medical use are forecast. Five different radiopharmaceuticals based on the short-lived radioisotope technetium 99m are produced by the Commission and delivered daily to 28 hospitals or clinics in major cities across Australia. The materials are used by nuclear medicine specialists for static and dynamic visualisation or organs such

as the liver, kidneys, lungs, brain and bone. Technetium 99m, which has a half­ life of six hours, does not exist in nature and is made in a nuclear reactor. To supplement the range of technetium 99m based radiopharmaceuticals and to achieve instant availability where necessary, the Commission is developing

a series of products in which the basic chemical reagents are supplied freeze-dried in single dose ampoules which can be stored for long periods. The hospitals and clinics will retain stocks of these ampoules from which the radiopharmaceuticals can be readily prepared when required by adding the appropriate amount of

technetium 99m solution. Distribution of technetium 99m as a solution or as a generator is much easier and more economical than the daily supply of a range of complex products. However, it is anticipated that the freeze-dried system will supplement rather than replace the present production.

This and other research in radiopharmaceuticals, carried out in co-operation with nuclear medicine and other specialists in Australian hospitals and research organisations, has kept Australia to the forefront in this important field of appli­ cation of the products of atomic energy.

Commission research also included various industrial uses of radioisotopes, the measurement and standardisation of radioisotopes and radiation, and studies into the biological effects of radiation with a view to gaining a better under­ standing of radiotherapy.

During the past 12 years the Commission has undertaken research into the application of radioisotope techniques to chemical analysis in industry. The widest field of application has been in the mineral industry for on-stream measurement of the concentration of valuable elements such as tin, lead, copper, zinc, iron,

nickel and bismuth in processing plant slurries. The techniques developed by the Commission are now well on the way to becoming an established component in mineral plant instrumentation and on­ stream analysers. Systems based on these methods are being marketed world-wide

by the Australian division of the Philips organisation under licence to the Commission.


Other industrial radioisotope and radiation research projects included an analysis technique for in situ determination of copper and nickel in boreholes, hydrology studies, an absolute method of gas flow measurement, and photo­ etching techniques.


The Commission has set up a noise analysis laboratory with instrumentation capable of analysing signals in the frequency range 0 to 300 kilohertz. Results are presented in the form of graphs, cathode-ray tube displays or computer tapes. The laboratory has been used mainly to analyse signals from temperature, acoustic, vibration and flow sensors. In addition to studies of reactor behaviour, the laboratory has helped solve problems for other research and industrial organisations.

The Commission is co-operating in forensic analysis through the attachment of an officer of the Commonwealth Police Force to its Research Establishment to use neutron activation analysis and radiochemical facilities. The Commission’s NAA facilities were also used in several co-operative studies with Australian research organisations, for example, to analyse for iron and copper in proteins at the one-part-per-million level.


Australia ratified the Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons on 23 January 1973. The Treaty requires Australia to conclude an Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to apply safeguards to verify that Australia is fulfilling its obligations under the Treaty. The Safeguards Agreement is required to come into force within 18 months after the initiation of negotiations with the Agency. These negotiations actually began just prior to ratification in January and are proceeding.

The Chairman of the Commission was appointed Governor for Australia on the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency and attended meetings in Vienna. He also led the Australian delegation to the Agency’s 16th General Conference in Mexico City in September 1972.

Commission staff members participated in a number of international specialist conferences, panels and symposia in several countries. Papers were presented covering a wide range of disciplines.


A total of $315,331 was paid to Australian universities, the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering and to other organisations for specialised research in atomic energy. Through the Institute, the Commission helped support a wide range of projects in 15 Australian universities. A total of

96 AINSE grants are current in the 1973 series in fields such as nuclear engineer­ ing, radiation chemistry, radiation biology, nuclear physics, plasma physics, nuclear materials, solid state physics and neutron crystallography. The Australian School of Nuclear Technology held six courses during the year in radioisotopes, nuclear technology and radionuclides in medicine and biology. Participants came from Australia, Indonesia, Iran, South Korea, South Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, Bangladesh and Malaysia. The school is operated jointly by the Commission and the University of New South Wales.




During the year, orders were placed for 64 nuclear units with a combined output of 62,543 MW*. However, largely because of licensing delays, previous orders for eight units (7,340 MW) were cancelled. The net increase for the year in commitments for nuclear power plants is the highest so far recorded — 55 units

with a rating of approximately 55,000 MW.

Most of the orders were placed by utilities in the United States (43 units and over 43,000 MW), the balance being spread over 11 other countries.

With the exception of two 600 MW Canadian-type natural uranium, heavy- water reactors, all new orders were for light-water reactors — pressurised light- water reactors (PWR) and boiling light-water reactors (BWR). Although no orders were placed for high temperature, gas-cooled units, the powerful Dutch-Shell Group

has now joined the Gulf Oil Corporation for the further development and exploita­ tion of this concept.

Compared with last year, there has been some improvement in the figures for new plant commissioning, but extended delays are still being experienced in a number of countries, particularly in the UK and the USA. Delays are attributable to a number of causes, e.g., late deliveries, quality assurance problems, poor

construction management, labour difficulties (shortage of skilled labour and de­ clining productivity), inexperience of utilities new to the nuclear field, increased licensing requirements and legal challenges.

During the year, 22 new units with a capacity of about 13,000 MW came on line. However, in the USA, about 30 units scheduled for operation this summer (the peak season) are delayed. In the UK none of the commercial advanced gas- cooled reactor (AGR) stations are yet operating.

Efforts are being made to reduce the lead time, particularly in the USA, through such measures as increased standardisation, improved licensing procedures and publishing report guidelines. It is generally believed that any resultant improvements in lead time will be offset by other factors, at least over the next few years. The preparation of detailed environmental reports and their reviews

are expected to take a considerable amount of time and effort. Some prolonged

* MW = megawatts electrical, unless otherwise stated.


public hearings are followed by challenges to the resultant decisions, as has happened with the emergency core cooling system (ECCS) rule-making hearings in the USA. The recent decision by the United States Atomic Energy Commission (USAEC) to consider the effects of pressure vessel rupture on a case-by-case basis could profoundly influence the whole US program. Until now, the failure of a reactor pressure vessel built to the codes, standards and other aspects of quality assurance demanded by the USAEC, was considered to be incredible.

Following the extended rule-making hearings on the ECCS and effluent release, nuclear plant will have to be designed to new, more conservative criteria. Utilities face considerable expenditure in back-fitting existing stations and those in an advanced stage of construction. Many stations seem likely to be temporarily down-rated because of revised ECCS-fuel performance criteria, some by as much as 20% . Operation at full output will not be permitted until the core design and/ or the ECCS have been modified. Because of such problems and uncertainties, the USAEC has decided to limit the output from any single unit to 1,300 MW until more operating experience has been gained with large units, and until their performance can be predicted with more certainty, particularly under accident conditions.

Many countries outside the USA have chosen light-water reactors and the problems confronting the US nuclear industry are influencing the thinking and progress in these countries, particularly Japan, Sweden and Germany.

Because of the extended delays, additional licensing costs, safety and environ­ mental provisions, and because of inflation generally, the cost of nuclear plant is continuing to escalate. The specific cost of light-water reactor units of 1,000 MW capacity ordered now and scheduled for operation in the USA in 1981 is placed at between US$500 and $550 per kilowatt installed, inclusive of the fuel and all indirect charges such as interest and escalation.

Despite the above problems and uncertainties regarding the future price and availability of enriched uranium fuel, the outlook in all the major industrialised countries of the world is clearly one of greater dependence on nuclear power. The USAEC recently released a revised forecast of nuclear power installed capacity and, while there is a small reduction over their previous (1971) prediction as far as the domestic market is concerned (due to delays now being experienced), their predictions of foreign nuclear capacity have increased considerably. Revised programs and forecasts announced by a number of countries during the past year tend to confirm the USAEC predictions. In these predictions, high, low and most likely estimates are given. “Most likely” figures at five-yearly intervals are shown in Table 1.


Installed Capacity MW (thousands)

Year USA Other Western


Communist Countries


1973 29 21 3 53

1975 54 39 8 101

1980 132 140 20 292

1985 280 303 56 639

1990 508 580 146 1,234

1995 811 968 318 2,097

2000 1,200 1,460 600 3,260


Changes in the nuclear programs of various countries since the Australian Atomic Energy Commission’s 1971-72 Annual Report are listed below.

Argentina Argentina has ordered its second nuclear plant. It is another natural uranium unit — a 600 MW CANDU PHWR (pressurised heavy-water reactor). The first station, Atucha, has suffered delays and is now scheduled to commence operation

in January 1974.

Bulgaria A further two units totalling 880 MW have been ordered for the Kozloduy station. These will also be Soviet supplied PWRs of the Novovoronezh type.

Canada Hydro-Quebec has placed a contract for a 600 MW CANDU PHWR station. This will be located at the Gentilly site. The Gentilly CANDU BLW (heavy-water moderated, boiling light-water cooled) has been shut down temporarily in order to provide heavy water to the Pickering station.

Following successful operation of the Pickering station, Ontario Hydro has announced a major expansion of their nuclear power program. The program includes four more 500 MW class CANDU units at Pickering to be commissioned in 1980-1982; four more 750 MW units at the Bruce site for 1981-83 operation;

and possibly four more units each of 750 MW to be located at a new site at Bowmanville on Lake Ontario. In addition, Ontario Hydro has announced its intention to exercise its option to purchase the 800 ton/year Bruce heavy-water production plant (which has now started up) and is proposing that the Canadian

Government build a second plant of the same capacity at Bruce for 1977-78 service.

Finland The Finnish private utility Teollisuuden has ordered a 660 MW BWR from the Swedish vendor ASEA.

France Proposals by the Government-appointed Peon Commission call for a total installed nuclear capacity of 32,000 MW by 1985 and 160,000 MW by the year 2000, representing 50% and 85% respectively of the total installed capacity at those times. Under this vastly accelerated program, it is envisaged that 13,000 MW of new capacity will be commissioned during the 1970-80 period, calling for three twin unit stations (approximately 6,000 MW) to be ordered this year. Reactors for the first of these (2 x 995 MW BWR) were ordered recently by Electricite de France (EDF); the station will be located at St. Laurent-des-Eaux.

The swing to nuclear power is due to the high and increasing cost of fossil fuels. Residual oil, because of its cost advantage over coal and gas, has been used in increasing amounts by EDF, representing 23.2% of its fuel needs in 1969 and 54.6% in 1972. In 1972, the average delivered cost of residual fuel oil was 50.4

cents (US) per million Btu; today, it is between 57 and 60 cents and it is considered that this trend will continue.

Germany A group of south-western German utilities has ordered a 1,300 MW PWR plant from Kraftwerk Union for construction at Breisach, and the large utility


RWE has ordered another PWR (1,215 MW) to be sited at Koblenz. The latter unit is to be built by a consortium of Babcock & Wilcox of the USA and Brown Boveri of West Germany. This is the first B & W export order. The 100 MW heavy-water moderated gas-cooled reactor at Niederaichbach was returned to service during the year.

Early this year, the Federal Ministry of Research and Technology published its Fourth Nuclear Program covering the period 1973-76. The program shows a considerable increase over previous years in expenditure on research and develop­ ment, particularly on reactor safety, high temperature gas-cooled and fast breeder reactors, and gas centrifuges. Construction started on the Kalkar 300 MW SNR (sodium-cooled, fast breeder) reactor, which is being built as a joint venture with Belgium and the Netherlands.

The Fourth Program was subjected to public hearings. Questions of public safety associated with all aspects of the fuel cycle and with reactor pressure vessel integrity, sabotage and aircraft crashes were raised. Resolution of these issues is causing delays. Early commercial stations such as Stade were constructed on time on a four to five year construction schedule. Stations now being built are running four to 12 months behind schedule, largely because of issues raised by opponents

to the projects. Utilities are now allowing five years actual construction with planning, etc., commencing three years earlier.

India The first unit of the twin 202 MW CANDU PITWR station at Rajasthan went on line during the year.

Japan Two reactors, Fukushima 2nd No. 1, and Hamaoka 2, BWRs of 1,100 and 840 MW respectively, were ordered during the period. The 270 MW PWR Mihama 2 and the 440 MW Shimane 1 BWR stations began operation during the year.

The Central Electric Power Council announced in March its revised Long Range Electric Power Program covering the ten-year period 1972-81. This program shows a considerable increase in nuclear power plant installations over previous programs. Nuclear plants totalling more than 85,000 MW will be in operation or under construction at 83 locations, compared with about 75,000 MW at 74 locations announced previously. During the ten-year period, construction will commence on 157,000 MW of new power plant, of which over 72,000 will be nuclear. During the same period 123,000 MW of plant will be commissioned, of which 35,000 MW will be nuclear. Most of these units will exceed 1,000 MW capacity, with a considerable number on the larger Tokyo and Kansai Electric systems of 1,500 MW. The percentage of nuclear plant in operation will increase from 1% in 1971, to 14% in 1977, and to 21 % in 1981.

Mexico The Federal Electricity Commission has ordered a 660 MW General Electric BWR.

Spain A 975 MW General Electric BWR has been ordered by Hidroelectrica Espanola to be built at Cofrentes.

S w eden To assist industry in planning for future expansion, the government recently


released a report on energy and electricity requirements to the year 1990. Plans were considered firm to 1980, tentative to 1985, and speculative to 1990. The expansion of nuclear generating capacity would be met largely by construction of additional units at existing sites; only two new sites, Sodermanland and Brodalem,

would be required. In addition to the units listed in Table 2, which will all be commissioned by 1980, the program provides for the following: Ringhals 4, 5 and 6 (900 MW — 1979, 1,300 MW — 1988 and 1990); Oskarshamn 3 and 4 (900 MW — 1980 and 1982); Barsebeck 3 and 4 (1,100 MW — 1983 and 1986);

Forsmark 3 and 4 (1,100 M W — 1982 and 1985); Sodermanland 1-4 (1,100 MW — 1981 and 1984, 1,300 M W — 1987 and 1989); Brodalem 1 and 2 (1,300 MW — 1984 and 1987). By 1980 about half Sweden’s power will be nuclear. A parliamentary committee recommended a 12 month moratorium on new

nuclear power stations until all safety aspects had been investigated, in particular the handling of nuclear wastes. The recommendation was rejected by parliament, but new projects will not be approved until comprehensive safety studies have been undertaken.

Switzerland Switzerland is firmly planning on nuclear power for its future base energy needs; present requirements are expected to double between 1982 and 1985. Orders were placed for two units during the year—a 940 MW BWR plant at

Leibstadt and a 963 MW PWR at Goesgen. Additional stations are to be built during this period at Verbois, Reuthi and Kaiseraugst. The latter has been delayed for more than two years because of local opposition and resulting court actions.

Taiwan Taipower has ordered two more BWR units, each of 900 MW capacity.

United Kingdom No new stations were ordered and none came on line during the period. The prototype fast reactor PFR has been delayed further and may not come on line until 1974. The AGR stations, with the exception of Heysham which appears

to be on schedule, are running two to five years late. Hinkley B and Hunterston B are expected to come on line about mid-1974. Ministerial consent has been given to the construction of another AGR type station on Portskewett on the Severn Estuary. This is site approval, not approval

to proceed with construction. No decisions have been taken on the country’s future program. The govern­ ment has been concerned primarily with reorganising the industry, and a new nuclear reactor company is being formed. It will be 50% owned by the General

Electric Company Ltd (GEC), 15% by the government through the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), with the balance being shared by about 20 companies yet to be decided.

U SA During the year, ten units totalling 7,851 MW came on line, including the first two “over 1,000 MW class” reactors, viz. the 1,050 MW Zion 1 PWR and the 1,065 MW Browns Ferry 1 BWR. A total of 43 units with an aggregate capacity of over 43,000 MW were ordered. All new orders were for light-water

reactors and included the largest single order to date — six 1,200 MW Combustion Engineering PWRs for the Duke Power Co. The following plants were cancelled due to licensing and other delays: Crystal River 4, 850 MW PWR: Verplank 1


and 2, twin 1,115 MW BWRs; Perryman 1 and 2, twin 845 MW PWRs. Mendocino twin 1,100 MW BWRs were cancelled due to seismological problems with the site. It was also decided to shut down permanently the 61 MW Fermi 1 fast reactor due to problems with financing the plant and the imminence of the prototype liquid metal fast breeder reactor (LMFBR). A site for the LMFBR has been chosen at Clinton, Tennessee, and the principal participating utilities, Commonwealth Edison and the Tennessee Valley Authority, have signed an agreement with the two corporations formed to carry out the project. Westinghouse has been named as

principal contractor, being responsible for some 60% of the design and engineering work, with General Electric and Atomics International equally sharing the balance. The project is awaiting Congressional approval. The Federal Power Commission (FPC) has carried out an investigation into

the delays being encountered in the construction and commissioning of nuclear stations. It does not see any significant improvement in the situation for quite some time. Of 56 plants scheduled to come into operation by 1975, 50 are delayed; of 30 in the period 1976-78, 19 are delayed so far, 15 because of environmental and regulatory problems.

Opposition by individuals and pressure groups concerned with environmental, health, and safety aspects of power generation is not confined to nuclear plants, but is impeding the construction of fossil fuel stations, the burning of high sulphur coal and fuel oil, and the development of open-cut mines. Recent studies by the

FPC confirm the high cost of pollution control of fossil fuelled stations, the high cost of alternative low sulphur fuels, and the savings expected with nuclear power.

U S S R It has been announced that two new stations are under construction, one of 1,000 MW at the Novovoronezh site and one of 880 MW (2 x 440 MW units) in the Ukraine. The first 440 MW unit of the Kola PWR station went on line.

The USSR also has indicated its interest in purchasing nuclear power plant from Kraftwerk Union of Germany — one to four 1,200 MW units, two of which would be located near the German border. Payment would be made in the form of power exported to Germany. The reasons for the proposal are not clear, but it would seem that the USSR is not equipped to manufacture reactors and turbo­ generators for such large units.


Events both within and outside Australia have tended to postpone the adoption of large-scale nuclear power in this country. These events and developments include the following:

Reactor Technology In the past few years there have been fairly substantial revisions of design and operating practice for light-water reactors, particularly in the USA. These arose through a variety of circumstances — as a result of operating experience,

through further research and development, criticism raised at public hearings, and general revision and consolidation of regulatory and licensing procedures. Most of these revisions relate to safety and the environment, although there have not been any accidents or serious incidents associated with nuclear installa­ tions in existing power stations. The consequences of these revisions have included some “retro-fitting” of additional or modified equipment to existing stations and

to some under construction, and also some down-rating. These modifications carry


economic penalties in terms of additional capital cost and delays, but they will provide long-term benefits in greater reliability and in facilitating licensing of later plants. These developments may be regarded as part of the settling-down period for

large-scale commercial light-water reactors. The settling-down process is still proceeding; experimental work is still required, and some decisions have yet to be taken on existing designs, for example, on core ratings and some aspects of emergency core cooling systems.

The fast breeder reactor program in the USA seems likely to come under public scrutiny. Eventually the commercial exploitation of this concept will involve the type of settling-down and public acceptance procedures that have delayed many light-water reactor programs. While the experience gained with the current

systems should facilitate these processes in the future, many proponents of the advanced reactor concepts appear to underestimate the likely effects of these factors on the time scale for large-scale use of these systems in the future.

Australian Fuel R eso u r ces Increased reserves of low-cost black coal have been established in Queens­ land and new significant reserves have been located in South Australia. Large reserves of natural gas have been discovered, particularly in northwest

Australia. Whether or not natural gas is used for power generation, its exploitation and the development of a national pipeline grid will make a new fuel available for many domestic and industrial users and must be expected to affect the rate of growth of electrical demand.

Australia’s fuel resources have been increased also by further discoveries of uranium. If Australia decided to establish a uranium enrichment industry for export purposes, availability of the product would be a major step towards self­ sufficiency in the nuclear power field.

Load Growth The rate of growth in electricity demand has declined, partly because of the increasing use of natural gas for domestic and industrial purposes. It is generally believed that these lower rates of growth will continue. As a result, nuclear units of an economic size are not likely to be acceptable on some State systems until later than indicated in the past. In the current scene, it is difficult to predict these

matters quantitatively, particularly as future relative costs of nuclear and fossil- fired power stations are also difficult to predict.

Capital C osts The trend overseas is still towards larger units; most plants now being ordered are in the .1,000-1,200 MW range. This trend is being arrested in the USA at present by a ruling of the USAEC that the maximum licensable output will be 1,300 MW until confidence in these large reactor systems improves as a

result of operating experience. However, because of additional safety and environ­ mental protection measures now required, and costs associated with these aspects (e.g., the preparation of environmental reports, more stringent quality assurance provisions), the cost of smaller units of more immediate interest to Australia is

expected to increase at a greater rate than that of larger units. The overseas cost of power plant generally, and nuclear power stations in particular, appears to have increased recently at a greater rate than the cost of fossil-fuelled plant built in Australia.


Because of these various factors, one could reasonably expect an increased economic differential at present between nuclear and fossil plant built in Australia.

Fuel C o sts Despite a greatly increased scale of production and contrary to earlier pre­ dictions, there have been some increases in nuclear fuel costs. This trend is expected to continue with the increasing cost of new facilities and labour, and with the advent of private industry into uranium enrichment.

However, the rate of increase in nuclear fuel costs is quite small compared with the increase in fossil fuel costs overseas. In Australia, fossil fuel costs have not escalated to the same extent as overseas. Until costs, prices and currency exchange rates, interest rates, etc., stabilise, it is extremely difficult to provide meaningful cost comparisons between nuclear and conventional power. Nevertheless, the Commission continually analyses the

trends in overseas nuclear generation costs and the information made available by State generating bodies on fuel and power station costs in Australia. On present indications, and emphasising the changes that are taking place in cost and price structures, it appears that nuclear power could be competitive in Victoria by about the mid-1980s, if the engineering and construction of a nuclear station could be carried out in the same manner as for conventional plant. However, early nuclear power stations will tend to cost more, until experience and expertise are acquired in Australia.

Because of the availability and price of coal in NSW and Queensland, and because of the relatively small size of units which could be accepted on other State systems, it seems unlikely that nuclear units could prove economically attractive before the 1990s. In the case of Western Australia particularly, the timing will depend on government policy regarding the exploitation and pricing of natural gas and its use as a power station fuel.

Thus it appears that the use of nuclear power in Australia over the next 15 years will be small. From a national standpoint this position has some advantages, in that time is available for:

• Positive planning based on the experience of other countries, particularly in the field of licensing and regulation.

• Resolution of the uncertainties regarding the safety and performance of present-day thermal reactor systems.

• Clarification of the performance and future role of fast breeder reactors, and of the possibilities of nuclear fusion.

LICENSING AND REGULATION OF NUCLEAR ENERGY A licensing procedure will need to be fully established before construction of the first nuclear power station in Australia to ensure that all the basic safety and siting requirements are established and approved by the regulatory organisa­ tion and other appropriate bodies.

The technical problems involved in the regulatory requirements will be the same irrespective of the legislative framework and responsibilities for licensing. Accordingly, during the year, the Commission began a study, in collaboration with the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, of a model for licensing and regula-


tion of nuclear power stations in Australia. Primarily these studies are aimed at determining the likely procedures and the impact of these on utility planning and investigation programs. Other studies are being made of safety criteria and standards which will need to be established. This involves the development of siting criteria and detailed requirements for site environmental investigation.

Engineering safety standards are also being studied to define the containment and protection requirements and their associated reliability. It is hoped to have these studies completed towards the end of 1973.

In collaboration with relevant government departments, the Commission continued its studies during the year into the controls and restrictions which will need to be exercised over nuclear propelled ships visiting Australian ports.

O V ER SEAS DEVELOPMENTS The Commission maintains a continuing survey on developments overseas in the licensing and regulation of nuclear energy and associated fields of activity.

The major developments overseas in the regulatory field occurred in the USA. An announcement from the White House at the end of June outlined proposals for a major revision in energy policy involving a split of the USAEC’s dual role of promoter and regulator of nuclear energy. Licensing regulations and related

functions will now be the responsibility of a Nuclear Energy Commission. All the other activities of the USAEC, involving reactor development and other promoting roles, will be transferred to a new Energy Research and Development Administration. The split was not unexpected since the dual role of the USAEC

as a promoter and regulator has been criticised strongly for some time by a growing body of influential opinion.

Public hearings on two important safety aspects of nuclear power reactors were initiated by the USAEC at the beginning of 1972 and were completed during the year. The first of these hearings dealt with the limits on the radiation exposure to members of the public resulting from the operation of commercial nuclear

power plants. The USAEC sought endorsement or comments at these hearings on a proposed regulation to limit the discharges from nuclear power plant to “as low as practicable”. Numerical guides were provided to ensure that discharges of radioactivity from nuclear power plant would meet the “low as practicable”

objective. These numerical guides basically provided for discharge limits which would ensure exposure to less than 1 % of the currently accepted radiation protection standards for the general public. There is still considerable discussion on the question of interpreting the proposal, and a decision on the acceptance of

the proposed regulation is not expected until later in 1973.

The second hearing dealt with the question of criteria for emergency core cooling systems for light-water power reactors. The USAEC again sought endorse­ ment and comments on its proposed criteria for these systems. The hearings on this question evoked intense and at times acrimonious debate in which the USAEC

was subject to intense criticism for licensing nuclear plant when, it was alleged, there were inadequate assurances that the emergency core cooling system could meet the design objectives.

If the proposed new criteria are eventually adopted, the temporary derating of some operating plant may become necessary. The USAEC estimates that an average of 5% derating may be required and that some two years or so could be necessary for plant modifications permitting full power operation.


NUCLEAR POWER ASSESSMENT STUDIES The Commission’s Reactor Assessment Section is engaged in a detailed examination of the design of nuclear power stations, particularly the various systems which comprise the nuclear island*. Most of the work to date has been concerned with the more established commercial reactor systems, viz. pressurised water reactor (PWR), boiling water reactor (BWR), and the Canadian pressurised

heavy-water reactor (CANDU PHWR). However, this work will also include the high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR), the steam generating heavy-water reactor (SGHWR), and the fast breeder reactor (FBR).

The work is aimed towards establishing a sound engineering and technological understanding of the various reactor systems involved. This requires a continuing effort on examining the various design and operational changes which are made to the plants from time to time. The examination of a nuclear power plant necessarily is related to the design, manufacture, construction, commissioning and operation of the various components and systems which make up the complete plant.

Whilst the work in general covers the nuclear plant as a whole, the Com­ mission has specific interest in the safe and reliable operation of the nuclear reactor and the related auxiliary systems. These objectives are achieved through quality of design and construction, together with the disciplined use of stringent

design criteria, codes, standards and controls. This is commonly referred to as quality assurance. Protective systems and engineered safety features associated with reactor systems are receiving continuing attention in keeping with the attention being paid to these areas overseas. Study of the quality levels for the construction of the nuclear steam supply system and the nuclear auxiliary systems components has been limited initially to requirements in the USA for the light- water reactors, but will be extended to other reactor types and other countries. The study of nuclear codes and the identification of the differences between nuclear and non-nuclear code requirements is in progress.

Considerable attention is being given to radioactive waste handling in various countries where nuclear plant is installed and in operation. Radioactive waste must be handled to the satisfaction of all regulatory bodies. This means that the discharge of solid, liquid and gaseous wastes to the environment must not exceed the limits prescribed. The implementation of these limits depends largely on the design and operation of engineered components and systems and this area is being examined to ascertain the extent and type of equipment and economic factors involved.

There is some justification for an increased degree of standardisation of power plant components and their arrangement within nuclear power stations, particularly from a licensing standpoint. Standardisation of major components has evolved to the situation where, in some cases, a required increase in installed

plant output is met by increasing the number of major components or loops, but it is only more recently that attention has been directed towards standardisation of nuclear station design and the layout of components for specific reactor types.

* The “nuclear island" consists of the nuclear power reactor and its steam generating plant; the containment building and all associated civil, electrical and mechanical works and plant; the immediate fuel element storage and handling facilities; and plant for purification of water for use in the nuclear plant.


This aspect is being examined within the Commission and reference layout designs are being developed — in the first instance for light-water reactor systems. Attention is being given to Australian standards and practice for the more con­ ventional plant, building and structures of a nuclear station and this should make

economic and technical comparison between conventional and nuclear stations more meaningful.

Reactor study reports have been prepared for each of the three reactor systems (viz. PWR, BWR and CANDU PHWR). These highlight differences between vendor designs and define areas where further data and information is required to clarify aspects of design, operation, and extent of supply for specific components and systems.


At present, and until such time as a nuclear power industry develops in Australia, the main purpose for carrying out research into nuclear power systems is to build and to maintain in-depth competence on those critical aspects of reactor systems which influence safety and performance. The Commission is

carrying out research on selected topics relating to reactor physics, heat transfer and fluid flow, chemical aspects, materials behaviour, instrumentation and control. A list of the main research projects in this field is given in Appendix D.

Most of the work is concerned with problems of thermal reactor types which could have possible future use in Australia. A small effort is being devoted also to fast breeder reactor systems.

The following examples illustrate the types of research problem which have been investigated during the year.

Resolution of D iscrep an cies in Neutron Data

A major discrepancy in neutron data required for reactor calculations has arisen from disagreement over the past few years between different methods of measuring the average number of neutrons (nubar) emitted in the spontaneous fission of the transuranic nuclide californium 252. This nuclide has been used

as the standard in nubar measurements and any error is reflected in nubar values for neutron fission of uranium 233, uranium 235 and plutonium 239. The resulting 2% uncertainty in nubar for uranium 235 and plutonium 239 corresponds to uncertainty of approximately 5% to 10% in critical mass calculations for all

reactor systems. There has been intense scientific effort to resolve this discrepancy.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held a panel meeting on Nuclear Standard Reference Data in November 1972, at which the discrepancy and the different methods of measurement were discussed. The results of Com­ mission studies into the systematic errors associated with one of the measuring

techniques (a large liquid scintillator) were presented, with suggestions that the work provided adequate information to allow agreement on a value for inter­ national use.

The Australian study had provided a value which was in agreement with recent data obtained by a different technique (MnSG4 bath studies). Because of this agreement and clarification of the systematic errors, the panel agreed that the discrepancy in nubar for californium had been resolved, and recommended the value of 3.733 ± 0.008 for future use.


In addition, the Commission presented revised values of nubar for thermal fission of uranium 233, uranium 235, plutonium 239 and plutonium 241. The revisions accounted for the new values of nubar for californium 252 and recent delayed gamma-ray data, including measurements from Lucas Heights. The revised ratios were incorporated in the international data set which is now considered to be in good order.

Flow Instability in P ow er R eactors

This problem is usually associated with direct-cycle power reactors where net steam generation is produced in the primary circuit; but it may also occur in conventional once-through steam boilers. Flow instability is seen as substantial flow oscillations which could lead to a transient reduction of flow sufficient to cause dryout and consequent local overheating, and possible failure of fuel. The most important oscillation mode within the reactor core is usually that in a single channel within a parallel group between inlet and outlet headers. The single channel may be a reactor fuel element channel, or it could be one of the sub-channels within a fuel element.

There are two main classes of flow instability — excursive and oscillatory. The first is due to the appearance of a negative resistance effect in the heated channel after net steam generation has commenced, which causes a sudden change of flow from a steam-water mixture to all steam. The second also involves a negative-resistance effect, but depends upon time-delay (or phase-change) and feedback (in common with all self-oscillatory systems), and results from the interplay between changes in flow rate of liquid entering the channel and corresponding changes in the production rate of the steam and its temporary accumulation within the channel. The excursive and oscillatory effects have com­ mon features and indeed merge under some conditions.

As a safety measure, it is important to be able to predict the onset of flow instability, to ensure that in an operating reactor there is an adequate margin between the normal power level and the power level at which flow instability occurs.

The Commission has investigated three different methods, all of which complement each other and offer special advantages in particular circumstances.

In one method a computer program (OWEN) was developed to undertake a space-and-time step-by-step approach, in which the channel is subdivided into a number of small elements, for each of which flow conditions are calculated in detail at a particular instant. The contribution of the elements is summed under the constraint of the channel-end conditions, and instability is assessed by inspecting the response of the system to an imposed perturbation.

The second computer method, using the program TOSCLE, is simpler and faster. The channel is considered in two regions only fin a simple case), non­ boiling and boiling. Approximations are used to allow simplification and solution of the differential equations of mass flow, momentum and energy, and the system is evaluated for instability by methods similar to those in control circuit theory.

The third method uses a hybrid computer. At successive time instants (about 20 per second), under the control of a digital computer, an analogue computer integrates along the hydraulic circuit, evaluating the pressure drop, heat content, voidage, etc., in a continuous manner as it goes, thus providing a complete transient solution. The method appears to be very promising.


All these methods have been compared with methods used overseas and good agreement was found except at the lower values of subcooling. Some experimental work has been undertaken on flow oscillations using two small loops named TOPSY and HOBO. TOPSY, a low pressure loop using Freon 113 (an analogue for water), has glass tube test sections to enable optical observations of flow

movements. HOBO is a high pressure loop using water pressure up to seven megapascals in a stainless steel test section. Although the work on flow instability was originally conceived to obtain a better understanding of power reactors, it is also applicable to the Commission’s

reactor HIFAR and has been used to assist with HIFAR safety studies.

Control of Corrosion in Water Circuits

The control of corrosion and attendant corrosion products is an important aspect of the safe and efficient operation of water-cooled thermal reactors. The results of work in this area are equally applicable to the steam-raising systems of other reactor types, e.g., fast reactors, as well as conventional fossil-fuelled plant. Close contact, therefore, is maintained with staff in the State Electricity Commissions.

Some of the objectives of the Commission’s work on corrosion are to deter­ mine the conditions under which (a) ferrous alloys can be used safely and economically in nuclear plant, (b) corrosion products are formed, released, trans­ ported and deposited in water circuits operated over wide ranges of temperature

and pressure, (c) the formation of these products can be inhibited, and (d) any deposits formed can be removed cheaply and efficiently. A high-temperature, high-pressure, out-of-reactor water loop has been built to study the deposition and transport of corrosion products in steel and Zircaloy

tubes. Tracer quantities of radioactive iron are injected into the loop and used to show the effects of changes in boiling conditions, flowrate and pH on the formation and removal of deposits. Experiments are being carried out also on the addition of nickel compounds

into coolant circuits as a method of on-load cleaning. It has been suggested that if nickel hydroxide is injected into a circuit, it reacts with iron oxide deposits and forms a non-adherent compound (nickel ferrite) which can be removed readily from the circuit. However, it has been suggested that the addition of nickel to

mild-steel circuits may lead to an increased rate of corrosion. Experiments have shown that the reaction of nickel oxide with the protective magnetite layer on steel is slow, and that corrosion of mild steel is not enhanced by the presence of nickel oxide under these conditions. These studies on the use of nickel compounds

for on-load removal of corrosion products are continuing.



Country In Operation Under Construction On Order TOTAL

No. MW No. MW No. MW No. MW

Argentina — — 1 319 1 600 2 919

Austria — — 1 700 — — i 700

Belgium 1 10 3 1,650 — — 4 1,660

Brazil — — 1 600 — — 1 600

Bulgaria — — 2 840 2 880 4 1,720

Canada 6 2,022 5 3.522 1 600 12 6,144

Czechoslovakia 1 112 2 840 2 840 5 1.792

Finland — — 3 1,520 — — 3 1.520

France 10 2,711 3 2,050 4 3,900 17 8.661

East Germany 1 70 2 700 2 880 5 1,650

West Germany 9 2,225 10 7,526 4 4,679 23 14,430

India 3 582 3 606 1 200 7 1,388

Italy 3 556 2 785 — — 5 1,341

Japan 7 2,179 16 12,083 2 1,940 25 16,202

Korea — — 1 564 — — 1 564

Mexico — -- - — — 1 660 1 660

Netherlands 1 62 1 450 — — 2 512

Pakistan 1 125 — — — — 1 125

Spain 3 1,093 5 3,570 2 1,905 10 6,568

Sweden 2 449 7 5,429 2 1,480 11 7,358

Switzerland 3 1.006 — — 2 1,860 5 2,866

Taiwan — — 2 1,208 2 1.800 4 3.008

UK 29 4,128 11 6,463 — — 40 10.591

USA 37 20,462 53 47.746 89 95,775 179 163.983

USSR 15 3,010 10 7,680 — — 25 10,690

TOTALS 132 40,802 1 144 I06,851 117 117,999 1 393 1265,652


Reactor Type and Country In Operation


Construction On Order TOTAL

No. MW No. MW No. MW No. MW


(a) PWRs Belgium 1 10 3 1,650 — — 4 1,660

Brazil — — 1 600 — — 1 600

Bulgaria — — 2 840 2 880 4 1,720

Czechoslovakia — — 2 840 2 840 4 1,680

Finland — — 2 860 — — 2 860

France 1 266 2 1,800 2 1,910 5 3,976

East Germany 1 70 2 700 2 880 5 1,650

West Germany 2 958 3 3,630 2 2,515 7 7,103

Italy 1 247 — — — — 1 247

Japan 2 790 7 5,643 — — 9 6,433

Korea — — 1 564 — — 1 564

Netherlands — — 1 450 — — 1 450

Spain 1 153 5 3,570 1 930 7 4,653

Sweden — — 2 1,709 1 900 3 2,609

Switzerland 2 700 — — 1 920 3 1,620

USA 19 11,322 38 34,770 50 54,581 107 100,673

USSR 5 1,890 5 3,080 — ■ — 1 10 4,970

TOTALS 35 16,406 1 76 60,706 63 64,356 174 141,468


Table 3 (continued)

Reactor Type and Country In Operation


Construction On Order TOTAL

No. MW No. MW No. MW No. MW

(b) BWRs Austria Finland France

West Germany India Italy Japan

Mexico Netherlands Spain Sweden

Switzerland Taiwan USA USSR


4 2 1 4

1 1 1 1

15 1

1,104 380 154 1,232


460 440 306

8,284 70

1 1


1 8




700 660





1,208 12,646

2 2

2 1

1 1 1 2


1,990 2,164

1,940 660

975 580 940 1,800 35,834

1 1 2

10 2 2 14

1 1 2 7 2 4

62 1

700 660 1,990 6,542

380 904

9,412 660 62 1,435 4,740

1,246 3,008 56,764 70

31 12,492 36 29,198 45 46,883 112 88,573



1 8

800 900 4 4,000

— — 1




9 1,700 4 4,000 — — 13 5,700

GAS-COOLED GRAPHITE (a) Natural Uranium France Italy Japan

Spain UK


8 1 1 1


2,372 155 157 480 3,982

— - -

8 1 1 1


2,372 155 157 480 3,982

37 7,146 — — — — 37 7,146

(b) Advanced Gas-cooled UK 1 32 10 6,213 11 6,245

(c) HTGRs West Germany USA


1 1

13 40

2 \

322 330 6 5,360

3 8



2 53 3 652 6 5,360 11 6,065

HEAVY- WATER (a) CANDU PHW Argentina Canada

India Pakistan


5 1 1

1,772 202 125

5 3,522


1 1 1

600 600 200


11 5 1


5,894 1.008 125

7 2,099 i 8 4,128 3 ' 1,400 18 i 7,627


Table 3 (continued)

Reactor Type and Country In Operation


Construction On Order TOTAL

No. MW No. MW No.


No. I MW

(b) SGHWR Types Canada Italy Japan UK






1 1



— —

1 1 1 1

250 35 200 100

2 350 2 235 — —

4 585

— 1

1 1

1 12 100 73

(c) CO^-Cooled Czechoslovakia West Germany France


1 1 1

112 100 73

— —

285 — — — — 3



(d) Others Argentina West Germany Sweden


1 1

50 9

1 319

— —

1 1 1

319 50 9

2 59 1 319 — —

3 378

FAST BREEDERS France West Germany



1 1 1

16 14


1 1

1 1

250 300

250 600

— 1

1 1 2 2

250 300 16 264


3 180 4 1,400 — —

7 1,580

TOTALS ALL TYPES 132 40,802 144 106,851

117 117,999 393 265,652


Table 4

WORLD NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS The table lists nuclear power stations in operation, under construction or definitely committed. Small development units have GC = Gas Cooled Reactor G = Graphite Moderated Reactor

BW = Boiling Light Water Reactor OM = Organic Moderated Reactor HTG = High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor

C = Under Construction

been omitted from this table. PW = Pressurised Light Water Reactor HW = Heavy Water Moderated Reactor HW /HW = Heavy Water Moderated and

Cooled Reactor

F = Fast Breeder Reactor Op = Operating Cm = Committed

Output Output

Name MW Type State Name MW Type State

ARGENTINA Fessenheim 1 870 PW C

Atucha 319 HW /H W C Bugey 2 930 PW C

Rio Tercero 600 H W /H W Cm Bugey 3 930 PW Cm

AUSTRIA Zwentendorf 700 BW C

Fessenheim 2 St. Laurent 3, 4 980 1990


Cm Cm

BELGIUM Tihange Doel


870 780


C c

Rheinsberg Lubmin Lubmin 2


700 880


Op C Cm

BRAZIL Angra dos Reis 600 PW c

WEST GERMANY Gundremmingen 237 BW Op

BULGARIA Lingen 240 BW Op

Kozloduy 840 PW c Obrigheim 328 PW Op

Kozloduy 2 880 PW Cm MZFR 50 HW /H W Op

Niederaichbach 100 H W /G C Op

CANADA Stade 630 PW Op

NPD 22 HW /HW Op Wurgassen 612 BW Op

Douglas Pt. 208 HW / HW Op Biblis 1 1 150 PW C

Pickering 1, 2, 3 1542 HW /HW Op Biblis 2 1240 PW c

Pickering 4 514 HW /HW c Brunsbuettel 770 BW c

Gentilly 250 HW /BW Op Schemausen 300 G /G C c

Bruce 1, 2, 3, 4 3008 HW /HW C Philippsburg 1

Philippsburg 2

864 BW c

Gentilly 2 600 HW /H W Cm 864 BW Cm

CZECHOSLOVAKIA Bohunice 1 Bohunice 2, 3 Bukovany 1, 2

1 12 840 840


Op C Cm

ISAR Neckar Nordenham

Kruemmel Kalkar

870 770 1240 1300




c c c

Cm C

FINLAND Koblenz 1215 PW Cm

Loviisa 420 PW C Breisach 1300 PW Cm

Loviisa 2 440 PW c INDIA Olkilvoto 660 BW c Tarapur 1,2 380 BW Op

FRANCE Rajasthan 1 202


Marcoule G2, G3 Chinon 1 72 70

G /G C G /G C

Op Op

Rajasthan 2 Madras 1

202 202


Chinon 2 200 G /G C Op Madras 2 202

HW /HW c

Chinon 3 480 G /G C Op Narora 200


St. Laurent 1 487 G /G C Op ITALY

St. Laurent 2 518 G /G C Op Latina 155 G /G C Op

Bugey 1 545 G /G C Op Selni 247 PW Op

Chooz 266 PW Op Garigliano 154 BW Op

EL 4 73 HW /GC Op Caorso 750 BW C

Phenix 250 F c Cirene 35 I HW/BW c



Outpu MW Type State


Tokai Mura 157 G /G C Op

Tsuruga 341 BW Op

Mihama 1 320 PW Op

Mihama 2 470 PW Op

Mihama 3 781 PW C

Fukushima 1 440 BW Op

Fukushima 2, 3 1520 BW c

Fukushima 4, 5 1520 BW c

Shimane 1 440 BW Op

Takahama 1, 2 1562 PW c

Genkai 500 PW c

Onagawa 1 500 BW c

Hamaoka 1 500 BW c

Ikata 500 PW c

Ohi 1, 2 2300 PW c

ATR 200 HW /BW c

Tokai Mura 2 1100 BW c

Fukushima 6 1 100 BW c

Fukushima 2nd No. 1 1 100 BW Cm

Hamaoka 2 840 BW Cm

KOREA Pusan 564 PW C

MEXICO Laguna Verde 660 BW Cm


Op Dodewaard 62 BW

Borselle 450 PW c



Op I


Karachi 125 HW /H W


Zorita 1 153 PW Op I

Zorita 2 450 PW C 5

S. Maria la Gorona 460 BW Op C

Hospitalet 480 G /G C Op I

Lemoniz 1, 2 1560 PW C l

Almaraz 1, 2 1560 PW c s

Asco 930 PW Cm C

Cofrentes 975 BW Cm b

SWEDEN Oskarshamn 1 440 BW


„ \

Op ,

Oskarshamn 2 580 BW c h v Λ

Ringhals 1 760 BW c ^

Ringhals 2 809 PW c r v iv

Barsebaeck 580 BW c i:

Ringhals 3 900 PW c p v p

Ringhals 4 900 PW Cm g

Forsmark 1. 2 1800 BW c °

Barsebaeck 2 580 BW Cm g



Op Ir

tieznau 2 350 PW Op Ii


Muehieberg Lelbstadt Goesgen

TAIWAN Chin Shan 1 Chin Shan 2 Taipower 1, 2

UNITED KINGDOM Calder Chapelcross Berkeley

Bradwell Hunterston A Hunterston B Hinkley Pt. A Hinkley Pt. B Trawsfynnyd

Dungeness A Dungeness B Sizewell A


Output MW

Crosse esden 1 esden 2 esden 3

er Creek

B. Robinson 2

306 940 920

604 604 1800

198 198 276 250 250 1250

460 1260 390 410 1200

420 400 730 1250 1250

100 250

90 70 69 40 50

200 800 800 175 575 265 800 430

640 625 420 545 700 652 497 828 700 497 1065 1065 1065

457 873 965

Type State



G /G C G /G C G /G C G /G C G /G C G /G C G /G C G /G C G /G C G /G C G /G C G /G C G /G C G /G C G /G C G /G C HW/BW








Op Op Op Op Op

c Op c Op

Op c Op Op Op

c c

Op c

Op Op Op Op Op Op Op Op Op Op Op Op

Op Op Op Op Op Op Op Op

c Op Op Op

C C Op Op




Name j MW Type State Name

Output MW Type State

Oconee 1 Oconee 2 Oconee 3 Quad Cities 1

Quad Cities 2 Surry 1 Surry 2 Turkey Pt. 3

Turkey Pt. 4 Vermont Yankee Maine Yankee Peach Bottom 2

Peach Bottom 3 Arkansas 1 Cooper Crystal River 3

Cook 1 Cook 2 Fort St. Vrain Kewaunee

Prairie Is. 1 Prairie Is. 2 Pilgrim Three Mile Is. 1

Three Mile Is. 2 Salem 1 Salem 2 Zion 1

Zion 2 Beaver Valley 1 Calvert Cliffs 1 Calvert Cliffs 2

Diablo Canyon 1 Diablo Canyon 2 E. I. Hatch 1

Rancho Seco 1 Brunswick 1 Brunswick 2 Duane Arnold Sequoyah 1 Sequoyah 2

Fitzpatrick Enrico Fermi 2 Davis Besse Trojan

North Anna River 1 North Anna River 2 North Anna River 3 North Anna River z

Shoreham Arkansas 2 La Salle 1 La Salle 2

Limerick 1 Limerick 2 Susquehanna 1 Susquehanna 2

Midland 1

841 886 886 800

800 788 788 693

693 513 790 1065 1065

820 778 825 1060 1060

330 540 530 530

655 819 905 1090 1115 1050

1050 847 845 845 1060 1060

786 804 821 821 530 1140 1140

821 1123 872 1130

845 845 900 900

819 920 1078 1078 1065 1065 1052 1052















Op c c Op Op

Op Op Op Op

Op Op c c

c c c c

c c c c

c Op c c

c c Op c

c c c c

c c c c

c c c c c c

c c c c Cm

Cm Cm C Cm

Cm Cm Cm Cm

Cm C

Midland 2 . M. Farley 1

. M. Farley 2

V. C. Sumner San Onofre 2 San Onofre 3 Forked River

Zimmer 1 E. I. Hatch 2

Central Aguirre Waterford Newbold 1 Newbold 2

Bell W. B. McGuire 1 W. B. McGuire 2 Bailly

Watts Barr 1 Watts Barr 2 Hanford 2 Bellefonte 1

Bellefonte 2 Braid Wood 1 Braid Wood 2 Shearon Harris 1 Shearon Harris 2 Shearon Harris 3 Shearon Harris 4

Hanford 3 Philadelphia Elec. 1, 2 A. W. Vogtle 1, 2 Beaver Valley 2

Nine Mile Point 2 Delmarva 1, 2 Enrico Fermi 3 Riverbend

Pilgrim 2, 3 Greenwood 1, 2 Grand Gulf

Perry 1, 2

Seabrook 1, 2 S. Cal. Edison 1, 2 Catawba 1, 2 Atlantic 1, 2

Douglas Point 1, 2 Byron 1, 2 Surry 3, 4

Comanche 1, 2 Quanicassee 1, 2 St. Lucie 1, 2

TVA (no site) 1, 2, 3, 4

Orville 1, 2 Clinton 1, 2 Blue Hills 1, 2 Boardman

Allen’s Creek 1, 2

818 829 829 900 1140

1140 1 140 810 786

583 1165 1067 1067

838 1150 1150 660

1170 1170 1110

1175 1175 1100 1100

915 915 915 915 1120 2280

2200 847 1080 1540

1123 940 2300 2300

1250 2200 2284 1540

2300 2300 2200

2400 1800 2300 2200


4800 2400 1900 1900

1250 2400















Cm Cm Cm C


Cm Cm Cm Cm

Cm C C Cm

C c c

Cm Cm Cm Cm Cm Cm Cm Cm Cm Cm Cm Cm Cm

Cm Cm Cm Cm Cm Cm

Cm Cm Cm Cm

Cm Cm Cm Cm Cm

Cm Cm

Cm Cm Cm Cm

Cm Cm



Output MW Type State Name

Output MW Type State

Duke Power (no site) Novovoronezh 5 1000 PW C

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 7200 PW Cm Melekess 70 BW Op

Millstone Pt. 3 1150 PW Cm Beloyarsk 1 100 G/BW Op

Lansing 1200 BW Cm Beloyarsk 2 200 G /BW Op

Somerset 1200 BW Cm Beloyarsk 3 600 F c

Aberdeen 1300 PW Cm Kola 1 440 PW Op

Wisconsin 1800 PW Cm Kola 2 440 PW c

LILCO 1150 PW Cm Armenia 1 380 PW c

Armenia 2 380 PW c

USSR Kursk 1 1000 G /BW c

Siberia (1-6) 600 G /PW Op Kursk 2 1000 G/BW c

Novovoronezh 1 265 PW Op Leningrad 1 1000 G /BW c

Novovoronezh 2 365 PW Op Leningrad 2 1000 G /BW c

Novovoronezh 3 410 PW Op BN 350 150 F o p

Novovoronezh 4 410 PW Op 1 Ukraine 880 PW c





Recent data indicate that the reasonably assured resources of uranium recoverable at a price up to US$ 10/lb uranium oxide (U3Og) amount to almost 1,200,000 short tons U30 8* in the Western World. These resources are equivalent to “reserves” in the mining sense. Canada, South Africa and the USA control among them 75% of these presently known resources. In addition to these reserves there are other categories of uranium resources, but since these are only “estimated additional” resources and/or resources recoverable at a price above US$ 10/lb

U30 8, they are usually not considered when discussing the supply and demand position for uranium in the next decade.

Large areas of several continents are geologically prospective for the occur­ rence of uranium. These have not yet been explored fully, and it is possible that major new deposits could be discovered there in the future. The growth in nuclear power will create a substantial increase in demand for uranium after about 1980,

and the mining industry must maintain known low-cost reserves of the order of eight years’ production to assure uranium supply at the projected rate. There is concern in the nuclear power industry that unless exploration programs are increased significantly soon, there may be shortfalls in available low-cost uranium

reserves in the 1980s and production capacity may not be adequate to meet the expected requirements.

Table 1 summarises recent data for the estimated growth of nuclear power and uranium requirements for the Western World. The compilation of data on such forward projections necessarily involves uncertainties. Estimates of the growth of nuclear power capacity depend, among other things, on assumptions of

economic growth in the countries concerned and hence the increasing demand for electricity and the share of new generating plant that will be nuclear. The longer- term predictions are increasingly uncertain due to the growing “energy crisis” in the Western World which could force increases in the use of nuclear power to

reduce dependence on oil.

* Uranium resources and demand are quoted traditionally in international studies in short tons (2,000 lb) uranium oxide (U3Os) contained in the chemical concentrate “yellowcake”. A multiplication factor of 0.77 converts short tons U:,0, to tonnes uranium (U) for comparison

with the data in Chapter 4.




1972 1975 1980 1985 1990 2000

Installed Capacity* (1,000 MW) 32 93 272 583 1,088 2,660

Annual U30 8 Requirement (1,000 short tons) 19.5 33 68 138 215 337

Cumulative U30 8 Requirement (from 1973) (1,000 short tons) — 81 345 905 1,810

about 4,000

* Estimates of installed nuclear capacity are in megawatts electrical for the end of the year stated.

Other factors which can affect U30 8 requirements are the types of reactors installed, the 235U assay in the tails rejected from enrichment plants, and the timing and extent of plutonium recycle in thermal reactors.

However, Table 1 indicates that substantial growth in nuclear power is expected from about 1980. The estimated cumulative demand for U3Os to 1990 is almost double the reasonably assured reserves of low-cost uranium known to exist at present in the Western World, and to the turn of the century it is about four times these present reserves.

The future supply/demand position for uranium may be considered also in terms of the uranium requirements of reactors over their expected operating lives (25-30 years). The nuclear power reactors in operation, under construction or ordered at the beginning of 1973 (at that time an aggregate capacity of about 223,000 MW) will require some 650,000 short tons U3Os during their lifetimes,

i.e., more than half the known low-cost reserves. This figure will almost triple for reactors to be installed or committed up to 1985.

Excess production over requirements has resulted in the accumulation of various national stockpiles, estimated today to total about 100,000 short tons of U3Og in the USA, Canada, South Africa, France and the UK. However, a large fraction of the stockpiles in Canada, South Africa and France has been committed under long-term contracts extending into the late 1980s.

The USA is engaging in pre-production of enriched uranium, and is operating its enrichment plants at a nominal tails assay of 0.30% 235U. This program will reduce the US stockpile by about 50,000 short tons U3Os by 1983. The USA has maintained its embargo on the importation of uranium, excluding outside producers from the US nuclear power fuel market. The embargo appears likely to remain in force until towards the end of this decade.

Most countries have contracted for their uranium supplies for some years ahead, and therefore the uncommitted market for uranium in the Western World to 1980 is relatively small. For example, to the end of 1977 the estimated uncommitted market (excluding USA) is only some 4,000 short tons U3Os, and

be'.ween 1978-80 inclusive it is about 42,000 short tons U3Os.

For the reasons outlined above the recent and short-term future market price of uranium is low. This situation is expected to change after 1980, when a sub-34

stantial increase in production will be required to meet demand, This increase in demand should benefit producers by firming sales prices. Concern has been expressed by many major power-generating utilities that, in the present over-supply situation, competition for the short-term market could

result in a continuation of low prices and lack of incentive for exploration and development, with serious effects on the availability of uranium in the 1980s. The Western World’s major uranium producers (excepting those from the USA) have held several meetings to discuss ways of improving the present

depressed uranium market. Australian producers have been represented at these meetings. If commercial fast breeder reactors are introduced throughout the world during the 1990s, they could lead to a reduction in the rate of increase of the

world’s annual uranium requirements at that time, and possibly to an actual reduction in annual consumption of new uranium during the second decade of the next century. In the light of the above comments, uranium is likely to be in greatest

demand — on the basis of known and predicted technological developments — from about 1980 until about the second decade of the next century.


Since 1965, the European Nuclear Energy Agency (ENEA), singly or jointly with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has published reports dealing with resources, production and demand for uranium in the Western World. These documents are regarded generally as authoritative.

The Commission supplied relevant information on Australia, and was represented at meetings arranged by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the IAEA in October 1972 and March 1973. The new report should be available during the second half of 1973.


Uranium exploration continued at a reduced level during 1972. Surface drilling amounted to 15.4 million feet and a recent survey indicates that the uranium mining industry intends to decrease exploration activity still further. Domestic uranium reserves in the category less than $10* per lb at the end

of 1972 were estimated at 337,000 short tons uranium oxide. (This does not include 90,000 short tons uranium oxide recoverable as a by-product of phosphoric acid production and copper leach solutions through to the year 2000.) Reserves available at $8 per lb were estimated at 273,000 short tons.

The domestic processing capacity is about 19,000 short tons of uranium oxide a year and is expected to reach approximately 25,000 short tons a year by the end of 1976. The total domestic production during 1972 was 12,900 short tons of uranium oxide.

As at January 1973, sales and commitments to domestic buyers totalled 86,300 short tons uranium oxide. In addition to these commitments, 2,200 short tons uranium oxide were committed to foreign buyers.

* Dollars in these sections are given in US$.


Deliveries are spread over a number of years through to 1988 but the major part of these orders will be filled by 1976. Orders for deliveries during 1972 were about 15,700 short tons.


Uranium exploration in Canada continued at a reduced level during 1972 as a result of both the short-term market outlook and the Canadian Government’s requirements concerning foreign ownership of uranium resources and properties. Additions to reasonably assured resources were recorded despite the reduced level of exploration. Production remained at about the same level during 1972 as for the preceding year. Plans are in hand for expansion and/or reactivation

of existing facilities in addition to the installation of new mill capacity. These would enable the industry to attain an annual productive capacity of 8,000 short tons uranium oxide by 1975. At the end of 1972, domestic uranium reserves exploitable at up to $10 per lb were estimated at 241,000 short tons uranium oxide. However, given adequate economic incentive, the prospects for a substantial increase in Canada’s

resources as exploration proceeds is considered excellent. Total domestic production during 1972 remained at about 5,000 short tons uranium oxide in three plants, two of which were operating at reduced capacity, The Rabbit Lake Project, operated by Gulf Minerals Canada Ltd in associa­ tion with Uranerz Canada Ltd, continued on schedule. The mill has a design capacity of 2,250 short tons uranium oxide a year and ore production is expected

to begin in 1975. In August 1972, to stabilise current market conditions and promote orderly expansion of ,the domestic uranium mining industry, the Canadian Government issued a directive on uranium export policy to the Atomic Energy Control Board regarding minimum price levels and tonnages.


France’s uranium reserves in the less than $10 per lb category are estimated at 45,000 short tons uranium oxide. In addition, France controls large reserves in Gabon, Niger and the Central African Republic. Ore reserves in the category less than $10 per lb are estimated at 26,000 short tons uranium oxide in Gabon, 52,000 short tons uranium oxide in Niger, and 10,500 short tons uranium oxide in the Central African Republic.

Production of uranium concentrates in Metropolitan France during 1972 was about 1,790 short tons uranium oxide and output over the next five years is expected to remain at the same level. In France, concentrates are produced from three treatment plants with a combined nominal capacity of 2,300 short tons uranium oxide a year.

Production in France, together with French-controlled plants in Gabon and Niger, will amount to about 6,000 short tons uranium oxide in 1975-76. The annual French military and power needs are estimated to be of the order of 2,500 short tons uranium oxide. Thus, France should have a surplus of upwards of 3,500 short tons uranium oxide a year for export by 1975-76. A government marketing organisation, URANEX, was established for this purpose in 1969 and has negotiated a number of sales contracts.

In addition to exploration activities in Metropolitan France and Africa, the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is undertaking uranium exploration in a number of countries.



South African uranium production during 1972 remained at about 4,000 short tons uranium oxide. A proportion of this total was stockpiled against future orders, but figures for exports and stockpile quantities have not been released. Yearly production is expected to expand to 6,000 short tons uranium oxide by

1975. .

South Africa’s reasonably assured resources in the less than $10 per lb category are estimated at 263,000 short tons uranium oxide (this includes resources in South-West Africa).

The Rossing project in South-West Africa is proceeding on schedule. Produc­ tion is expected to start in 1975 at a rate of 2,500 short tons uranium oxide and plans are in hand to increase production to 5,000 short tons uranium oxide per year in the late 1970s.


Uranium exploration and production continued in several other countries. Despite the low level of exploration activity during the year, modest additions to reserves were made in several countries.

Total estimated Western World production in 1972 was 26,000 short tons uranium oxide.

AUSTRALIAN SITUATION The cumulative Australian requirements of uranium for nuclear power to the year 2000 are estimated to be 35,000 short tons U8Os; a significant local demand is unlikely to develop before about 1990. Since the quantity of uranium

in presently known resources is considerably larger than Australia’s cumulative requirements to the turn of the century, Australia could become a major exporter of uranium. The possibilities for upgrading, including enrichment, are dealt with in Chapter 4.

Export contracts held by three prospective Australian producers (Mary Kathleen Uranium Ltd, Ranger Uranium Mines Pty Ltd, and Queensland Mines Ltd) aggregate 11,522 short tons U8 O k contained in uranium concentrates (yellow- cake). The contracts call for deliveries over the period 1974-19.86, and the

approximate total value is A$ 115 million.

Development plans announced by prospective producers to date are: Mary Kathleen Uranium Ltd to begin production at the end of 1974 at about 1,000 short tons per annum; Queensland Mines Ltd to start production in 1975 at a rate of about 1,000 short tons per annum; Ranger Uranium Mines Pty Ltd to

achieve initial production in mid-1976 from a plant with a capacity of 3,300 short tons per annum; and Western Mining Corporation Ltd to commission a plant in 1977 to produce about 2,000 short tons per annum.

Developments in the Alligator Rivers Uranium Field in the Northern Territory will be aided by the construction of a new all-weather road into the area and by a proposed regional township. Both the road and the proposed centre will serve also the pastoral and tourist potential of the region. The road is

scheduled for completion in late 1974 and detailed planning of the regional centre is proceeding.


Location of Australia’s mineral-based energy resources.


EXPLORATION IN AUSTRALIA In contrast to the decline in world uranium exploration activity during the year, company exploration increased in Australia and important new discoveries were made in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.

Although these resources are not yet delineated fully, it is clear that these additions to Australia’s uranium reserves will, in due course, ensure that Australia will rank as one of the world’s leading uranium producers. From the data available, with continued exploration, the prospects for discovery of further resources are


At the present rate of exploration, reasonably assured resources in the Alligator Rivers Uranium Field, N.T., recoverable at less than $10 per lb, could exceed 150,000 short tons of uranium oxide within three years. Australia’s estimated uranium resources at 30 June 1973 are shown in Table 2. These figures do not include allowances for uranium recovered by

heap-leaching or as a by-product of treatment of other mineral deposits such as phosphates, fluorite, vanadium and/or copper.


Northern Territory

The Bureau of Mineral Resources continued its geological mapping survey program of the Alligator Rivers Uranium Field during the year. Field investigations during the period under review show that both the uranium orebodies and most of the prospects discovered to date, together with

the majority of the untested radiometric anomalies in this region, adjoin the margins of the Nanambu and Nimbuwah Complexes. Although insufficient work has been completed to date to identify the genesis of the uranium mineralisation, it is believed that the concentration of uranium along the margins of the complexes

is due to sweating out of the uranium during the granitisation and migmatisation of the sediments which formed these complexes. Further investigation of the relationship of the uranium mineralisation to the Complex is being undertaken.


URANIUM RESOURCES (103 short tons U3Og)

PRICE RANGE < $ 10/lb U3Os PRICE RANGE $10-15/lb U3Os



140 48 83 43

(1) “Reasonably Assured Resources” refers to uranium which occurs in ore deposits of such grade, quantity and configuration that it can, within the given price range, be recovered profitably with currently proven mining and processing technology. Reasonably Assured Resources in the price category up to $ 10/lb are equivalent to “Reserves” in

the mining sense. (2) “Estimated Additional Resources" refers to uranium surmised to occur in unexplored extensions of known deposits or in undiscovered deposits in known uranium districts, and which is expected to be discoverable and economically exploitable in the given

price range.



Que ens lan d

The year saw a marked reduction in the tempo of uranium exploration in Queensland and the main emphasis changed from the Westmoreland area to the Mt Isa/Cloncurry region and northeast Queensland.

Mary Kathleen Uranium Ltd The treatment plant and township at Mary Kathleen were kept on a care- and-maintenance basis. Reserves stand unchanged at the previously announced figure of approximately 10,000 short tons uranium oxide.

The company continued its pilot plant investigations into optimisation of rare-earth recovery in conjunction with uranium production.

Queensland Mines Ltd During 1972, a general re-appraisal was undertaken of exploration data and ore reserves in the Mt Isa and Westmoreland areas and field operations were curtailed pending the outcome of this study.

The Westmoreland deposits consist of pitchblende in a series of lenses in a shear-zone, adjacent to a dolerite dyke which follows a joint-plane in the West­ moreland Conglomerate, and within the sandstones and conglomerates adjacent to the dyke. Additional drilling will be necessary before a useful and valid estimate can be made of the various ore reserve categories within this resource.

The deposits at Anderson’s Lode, Skal-Bikini and Valhalla in the general Mt Isa area occur mainly in sheared sediments within Carpentarian volcanics. Although there is a significant tonnage of uranium oxide in the three deposits, they have not been exploited to date because of metallurgical problems.

Reserves are currently stated by the company as follows:

Orebody Ore Classification

Grade (%u3o8)

Contained U h O s (short tons)

Jack Lens Probable 0.23% 1,840

Garee Lens Probable 0.25% 2,750

Valhalla Probable 0.19% 4,200

Possible 0.20% 1,800

Anderson’s Lode Probable 0.20% 1,300

Skal Probable 0.13% 3,800

Northern Territory

The tempo of uranium exploration in the Northern Territory was maintained at the high level of the previous year, especially in the Alligator Rivers Uranium Field where further additions to Australia’s uranium reserves were recorded. Exploration was particularly active in almost all other areas favourable for uranium, with special emphasis being given to the Amadeus and Ngalia Basins.

Peko Mines N.L./Electrolytic Zinc Peko Mines N.L. continued its joint exploration program with the Electrolytic Zinc Company of Australasia Ltd to evaluate the Ranger group of uranium anomalies some 220 km east of Darwin.


The Jabiru deposit is situated in low foothills below Mt Brockman at latitude 12° 42’ S, longitude 112° 45’ E. The central portion of the deposit has been pattern drilled at 50 metre intervals and the current drilling program is designed to define the grade and shape of the orebody rather than to extend the mineralisa­

tion. Grades obtained from the diamond drilling program on the Jacana deposit are only marginally lower than those obtained from the earlier percussion drilling, but the orebody appears wider and slightly deeper than indicated by previous

drilling. As a result, the company believes there is no reason at this stage to revise the earlier estimate for this orebody and a closer-spaced drilling program was commenced during the year. Further exploration was undertaken at Ranger 1 on the No. 2, No. 4, and

No. 5 anomaly areas. The mineralisation encountered by scout drilling on both the No. 2 and No. 5 areas is generally lower-grade and more patchy than in either the Jabiru or Jacana deposits. The Ranger I resource is currently stated by the joint-venture partnership

as follows:

No allowances have been made for the other three areas in the estimates of the stated uranium resource because testing is still at an early stage. The partnership is also undertaking uranium exploration on a joint-venture basis with a number of other companies over areas of good uranium potential in

both the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Queensland Mines Ltd The company continued its exploration program in the Alligator Rivers Uranium Field and the Rum Jungle area. A revaluation of previous exploration results in the company’s exploration areas in the East Alligator River area was

completed and a new program begun to test the potential of these areas as a prelude to meeting the mining legislation’s relinquishment conditions. The Nabarlek deposit is 50 km to the northeast of the Jabiru deposit. During the period under review, a drilling program was completed to test for possible

extensions of the Nabarlek deposit to the south and east and to determine the geochemical expression of the Nabarlek orebody. Reserves remain unchanged and are stated by the company as 10,500 short tons uranium oxide at an average grade of 2.35% U:iO,. Metallurgical investiga­

tions have shown that the Nabarlek ore is readily amenable to conventional treat­ ment methods. The company has also drilled a number of other prospects in the Nabarlek area to test for the continuation of surface mineralisation at depth and the nature

and significance of these occurrences have yet to be determined. Exploration in the company’s southern exploration area is severely restricted by a thick sandstone cover over most of the region. However, a renewed explora­ tion program, based on the revaluation study of exploration results in the general

Arnhem Land area, began during the 1972 field season. The company continued its joint exploration program with Australian Aquitaine Petroleum Pty Ltd in the Rum Jungle area.

Orebody Contained U 3O s

(tonnes) 51,500 31,000

Jabiru Jacana


Noranda Australia Ltd The company continued its major drilling program to further define and evaluate the Koongarra uranium deposit, situated 20 km south-southwest of the Jabiru deposit.

Further mineralisation has been discovered some 6 km along strike to the northeast of Koongarra and an extensive program of both diamond and percussion drilling was completed to test other prospects within the general area. The company is participating also in joint uranium exploration ventures in other areas in the Northern Territory.

Pancontinental Mining Ltd Pancontinental, the operator in a joint-venture with Getty Oil Company, continued its uranium exploration program to test and evaluate a number of radiometric anomalies in the East Alligator River area north of the Jabiru deposit.

A major drilling program to define and evaluate the Jabiluka deposit, 250 km east of Darwin and about 20 km to the north of the Jabiru deposit was completed during the period. The company has announced that reserves of 3,850 short tons uranium oxide have been outlined to date.

Follow-up drilling is in progress on a number of other anomalies in this area and an extensive drilling program to further test four bedrock anomalies located by earlier limited drilling at Flades Flat is planned for the forthcoming field season. The company also is participating in a joint exploration program with Buka Minerals N.L. and Western Nuclear (Australia) Ltd in the Katherine-South Alligator River region.

Central Pacific Minerals N.L. The company continued its joint exploration program to test a number of carnotite occurrences in the Ngalia Basin, some 320 km northwest of Alice Springs, where follow-up ground prospecting has located seven additional radio­ metric anomalies extending over a strike length of 20 km between the Dingo’s Rest and Walbiri Prospects. Surface mineralisation occurs in Tertiary sandstones and a diamond drilling program to test the nature of the mineralised sediments in

the Walbiri Prospect down-dip is in progress. In addition, two radiometric anomalies were discovered at Currinya, about 64 km southeast of the Dingo’s Rest Prospect.

South Australia

The tempo of uranium exploration in South Australia was maintained at the high level of the previous year, especially in the Lake Frome Basin where signific­ ant additions to Australia’s uranium resources were recorded.

Petromin N.L. The Petromin N.L./Transoil N.L./Exoil N.L. Group (PTE) continued its active exploration program for sedimentary uranium deposits in the Lake Frome area, 500 km north of Adelaide.

In the Beverley area, three orebodies have been discovered to date by follow­ up drilling by PTE and its joint-venture partner, Western Uranium Ltd (WUL). An in-fill drilling program was completed to determine the limits of economic mineralisation throughout the prospect and, late in 1972, Petromin announced that indicated reserves in excess of 17,500 short tons uranium oxide had been outlined by drilling on the Beverley and associated prospects.


Geologist examines diamond drill cores at the Nabarlek deposit of Qu Ltd as part of the company’s revaluation of earlier exploration


Left: Exploratory auger drilling at the Pan­ continental Mining Ltd Jabiluka deposit during the 1972 dry season.

Right: Radiometric probing of a diamond drill hole at the Jabiluka deposit, 250 km east of Darwin, Northern Territory.


During the period, WUL undertook further drilling on three other leases in the general area on behalf of the joint-venture partners. Elsewhere in the Lake Fro me area, companies operating under farm-in agreements to the PTE Group continued their exploration programs.

The PTE Group has been joined by Afmeco Pty Ltd in another nearby area and significant mineralisation was encountered in two areas as a result of an appraisal rotary drilling program.

Sedimentary Uranium N.L. The company continued its exploration program for sedimentary uranium deposits in the Yarramba area, about 450 km northeast of Adelaide, where inter­ mittent mineralisation of varying grade has been intersected in Tertiary sands on

the southeastern edge of a buried stream channel. Results to date indicate that there are three levels of mineralisation and preliminary metallurgical tests have confirmed that the mineralisation is amenable to conventional acid leaching.

Reconnaissance drilling to trace the course of the stream channel to the southwest and northeast was carried out and follow-up drilling is in progress to test the sporadic mineralisation encountered.

The company carried out exploration drilling on a number of other leases in the general Yarramba area, but their potential for sedimentary uranium deposits does not look promising because of the shallow basement.

North Flinders Mines Ltd Follow-up ground magnetic and radiometric surveys on the Gunsight Prospect, some 15 km north of the Beverley Prospect, has outlined a zone of secondary copper and uranium mineralisation with a minimum strike length of some 1,000 metres and a width of about 30 metres. A major drilling program

to test the primary zone at depth has commenced.

Western Australia

Exploration for uranium was particularly active in the Western Australian Shield, with particular attention to areas favourable for the formation of sediment­ ary uranium deposits. Yeelirrie was the most actively explored region and further additions to uranium resources were reported.

Western Mining Corporation Ltd The company continued its active exploration and drilling program to evaluate the Yeelirrie sedimentary uranium deposit, some 670 km northeast of Perth. The anomalous mineralisation exists over a strike length of 45 km and an

average width of 3 km along a buried stream channel. Precipitation of porous limestone (calcrete) has modified the original sand and clay stream-channel fill to varying depths, and carnotite has been deposited subsequently from percolating ground water as thin coatings lining cavities and voids in the calcrete.

The main ore zone has been extensively tested by rotary drilling and, in higher-grade areas, additional close-spaced diamond drilling has been undertaken. The company has announced that the deposit contains 46,000 tonnes of uranium oxide at an average grade of 0.15% of which 24,000 tonnes are above 0.36%.

The deposit appears to be extensive, mainly flat-lying and suitable for open- cut mining. Laboratory and pilot plant testwork has shown that the uranium is readily extractable by conventional alkaline leaching.



The development of uranium resources in the Northern Territory and else­ where in Australia (Chapter 3) could lay the foundations for a major processing industry involving the production of crude yellowcake (uranium oxide, U30 8), its conversion to uranium hexafluoride, and possibly enrichment. The development of any uranium processing industry on a significant scale in the near future would have to be based mainly on export, since local demand is likely to be small for at least another decade. The Commission, in association with other government departments, has been examining the implications of various possible develop­ ments in the uranium industry, and studying the problems that might arise.

The possible scale of these potential industries and their orientation to export markets raises questions on the sources of capital (particularly the role of overseas investors) and the security of markets to support the operations over an economic lifetime.

Undoubtedly Australia has the resources to assume a major role as an exporter of uranium, at least as yellowcake, and probably in processed forms such as uranium hexafluoride or enriched uranium. On the other hand, the Western World is becoming increasingly concerned at the impending shortage of some energy resources, including uranium, and it would be imprudent to commit large quantities for export in the relatively slack market existing at present.

The development of the industry is to be considered also against changing circumstances in overseas trade and international relations (which influence potential markets), in technological development and in our attitude to pollution of the environment. The location of major uranium deposits in the Aboriginal Reserves of the Northern Territory and in potential national parks adds further reasons for ensuring that development should be controlled to minimise any adverse effect on the environment. The Commission, in association with mining companies and government departments, is concerned with the assessment of potential hazards and with possible modifications of processes to minimise these hazards, and is contributing towards appropriate regulatory control of mining and

mineral processing.

Feasibility studies have been carried out by the Commission on the conver­ sion of yellowcake to uranium hexafluoride and on the enrichment of uranium.


Studies on the feasibility of yellowcake production at the mine sites have been performed mainly by the mining industry, with Commission support in selected areas such as environmental studies and waste management.

Background Stu dies The Commission has developed computer programs for the calculation of uranium requirements in each major country of the Western World. The input data for these calculations are the projected rates of nuclear power growth and the characteristics of the reactors to be installed. The input data can be adjusted to allow for delays in installation and changes in reactor design and operating


Calculations of the requirements for yellowcake, hexafluoride and separative work have been completed for each of the major countries and results compared with the predictions of other organisations; the data are updated regularly.

The distribution and association of uranium minerals in typical Australian ores is being investigated by electron probe microanalysis in the Materials Divi­ sion. The ores are being studied both as they occur in the ground and during subsequent chemical processing; the data generated are relevant to the geology

and genesis of the deposits and to improving the extraction of the uranium.

The Chemical Technology Division has been studying the use of amine solvent extraction processes for the production of uranium products from sulphate leach liquors. A product of near-nuclear purity can now be obtained routinely, but certain elements — especially iron, cadmium and silicon — appear at con­ centrations above the limits for nuclear purity. The factors influencing the extrac­

tion of iron have been examined in detail with the aid of iron 59 tracer, and similar work on the extraction of cadmium has now been completed with the aid of cadmium 115m tracer. The results indicated that poor decontamination was due largely to poor performance of contacting equipment, for example, the forma­

tion of emulsions in mixer-settlers which leads to reduced efficiency, rather than to any fundamental chemical problem with cadmium or iron.

URANIUM HEXAFLUORIDE The largest proportion of uranium required for nuclear power reactors at present is in a form enriched above the naturally occurring level of 0.71% in the fissile isotope 235U. To provide a suitable feed material for both diffusion

and centrifuge enrichment plants, the uranium must be converted to a gas, and uranium hexafluoride (U FJ is the only compound of uranium which can be gasified readily.

The current demand for UF6 in the Western World is supplied by five plants; two in the USA and one each in the UK, Canada and France with an aggregate annual capacity for conversion into UF,, of about 25,000 tonne U* contained in ore concentrate.

The demand for UFe has not increased at the forecast rate, mainly due to delays in reactor licensing and construction in the USA; consequently, a situation of over-capacity exists and some conversion plants have operated at reduced

*Uranium requirements for the nuclear fuel cycle are given usually in metric tons uranium, i.e. tonnes (2,204 lb). A multiplication factor of 1.30 converts tonnes uranium to short tons UsOs for comparison with the data in Chapter 3.


capacity or closed down intermittently. However, the program for installation of enriched-fuel reactors indicates an annual world demand for UF0 increasing from about 25,500 tonne U to ΙΟΟ,ΟΟυ tonne U over the decade 1975-1985. Major producers already are prepared to invest in new plant or in modifications to increase the capacity of existing plant. Canadian capacity has been increased from 2,000 to 2,800 tonne U per year and a further increase to 4.500 tonne U per year has been proposed. New plant under construction in the UK will increase capability from 5,000 to 8,000 tonne U per year. Capacity in France has been increased from 3,000 to 4,500 tonne U per year, and a further expansion to 6,000 tonne U per year by 1974 is planned.

Background Studies Traditionally, uranium is marketed as yellowcake (a chemical concentrate derived by processing the ore), but there are indications that UF,; may be the preferred trading commodity in the future. Upgrading of Australian uranium to

UF(i for export would increase its value by about 10%. Export of hexafluoride could offer advantages by eliminating additional contractual problems and reduc­ ing transport and inventory charges.

Technical and economic design studies by the Commission have indicated that the capability exists in Australia for construction and operation of a hexa­ fluoride plant. The advantages of scale of operations evident with large plants suggest that Australia should seek to establish only one central hexafluoride plant to accept the yellowcake product from a number of uranium processing mills.

Local manufacture of UF(1 would be an essential adjunct to the establishment of a major enrichment capability in Australia. Further advantage could be taken of the increased scale of plant required by such a project to reduce the cost of manufacture of natural uranium hexafluoride for export.

Research relevant to the conversion of yellowcake to UF„ has continued in the Chemical Technology Division. This work includes:

(i) Solvent extraction purification of uranium from nitric acid solution, using 20 vol. % tributylphosphate in kerosene.

(ii) Concentration of uranium solutions in a thermosiphon evaporator, and denitration of uranyl nitrate to uranium trioxide in a fluidised bed.

(iii) Construction and commissioning of experimental plant to produce fluorine by electrolysis of HF in an electrolyte of KF.2HF.

(iv) Development of an improved process to produce UF(i from UF4 or uranium oxides without the use of elemental fluorine.

(v) Chemical and structural studies of various metal fluorides which contribute significantly to the corrosion of constructional materials, and which are undesirable impurities in the final uranium product.

Studies have continued on the evaluation and improvement of a process which could be used at an ore processing mill to produce uranium tetrafluoride (UF4) of nuclear purity. Cheaper amine solvents than those reported in the literature were shown to be effective in producing uranium solutions of high purity


in laboratory equipment. The substitution of a chemical reduction stage for a more expensive electrolytic reduction stage has been investigated also and initial results are promising.

URANIUM ENRICHMENT Uranium enrichment studies have been carried out by the Commission, in association with others, over the past year. These studies have been made against a background of intense international negotiations for the commitment of

the first units of new enrichment capacity in the Western World and growing fears that a shortage of capacity will occur, at least in the early 1980s. Power generating utilities overseas are already committed to building nuclear power plants for which fuel could become scarce, and some countries are concerned at the

implications of a shortage of fuel at a time of increased reliance on nuclear power for base-load generation.



The present US capacity for enrichment, 17.1 million SWU* per year, is being expanded by the Cascade Improvement and Cascade Uprating Programs (CIP/CUP) due for completion in 1979. The plants are owned and operated by the United States Atomic Energy Commission. These programs will increase the

US capacity to 27.9 million SWU per year, sufficient to satisfy US domestic demand until 1982-83 at least. However, the USA already has entered into con­ tracts for the supply of enrichment services to other countries, aggregating over 120 million SWU by 1985. To satisfy these commitments and the future domestic demand, new plants will be required to operate from about 1980, with at least

two, and possibly three, new plants of 8.75 million SWU per year capacity operat­ ing in the USA before 1985. As yet, the USA has not announced any commitment to new capacity beyond

CIP/CUP. However, it has announced the intention to retain its leadership in supply of enrichment to the Western World and to supply at least 60% of the demand outside the USA to 1985. The USA sees the export of enriched uranium as being an important factor in offsetting the large imports of other fuels which it

will need in the period 1980-85. The US Administration has promoted the role of industry in the building and operation of enrichment plants by several important initiatives in the last year. The USAEC will now allow access by US industry to enrichment technology

under certain conditions. Seven companies have applied for access for the purpose of assessing the merit of investment, but to date only one group (Uranium Enrichment Associates, an association of Bechtel, Westinghouse and Union Carbide) has received an access permit. The USAEC has also declassified

accounts of its enrichment operations, provided information on the capital and operating costs of new plants, and has moved towards bringing the price of enrichment more in line with that which might apply under industrial conditions of finance.

* SWU — Separative Work Units — are a measure of the increase in value of uranium as it is processed in an enrichment cascade; the unit of separative work is mass and values are shown in kilograms.


In November 1971, the USA held international discussions on the conditions for release of enrichment technology to other countries. Australia participated, and had further talks with US officials in July and November 1972. The Commission is maintaining contact with the USAEC and reviewing this matter periodically, but to date none of the countries represented at the international meetings appear to have made any firm moves to negotiate agreements for the use of US technology outside the USA.

The USA has agreed to carry out a study with Japan on the feasibility of installing an enrichment plant in the USA, partly financed by Japanese capital.

The USAEC announced the revision of its contract terms for purchase of enrichment applicable from May 1973. Long-term contracts now require a firm commitment to be made at least eight years prior to the first delivery and a down payment of about 30% of the cost of separative work for the first reactor core. Commitment must be made for deliveries over a ten-year period, with a minimum commitment of three reactor core loadings over the period. Termination of the contract by a customer within the 18-year period could result in forfeiture of the down payment or a large fraction of the contract price. The revised USAEC enrichment contract criteria represent a harder commercial attitude and reflect growing concern at the necessity to ensure long-term markets and the sources of finance necessary to build new plants.

The USAEC has announced an increase in enrichment charges to US$38.50/ SWU for existing contracts, and a lower charge of US$36/SWU for contracts under the new criteria applicable from August 1973. These charges will increase automatically by 1% every six months, beginning in January 1974.

Western Europe

The demand for enrichment in the European Community is expected to exceed eight million SWU/year in 1980 and 15 million SWU/year in 1985. At present, there are two small diffusion plants within the Community — at Capen- hurst (UK) and Pierrelatte (France) — but only Capenhurst has been modified for the production of low enrichment material. The Community, at present, is importing most of its requirements from the USA.

To provide some alternative to total dependence on the USA, several European organisations have had discussions with the USSR during the year on the supply of enrichment. Small contracts have been negotiated with France and negotiations are in progress with West Germany.

Both the French CEA and the British-Dutch-German Tripartite centrifuge enrichment company URENCO have indicated that they could supply the three million SWU sought by German utilities for delivery in the early 1980s. French supply would have to be based on expansion of gaseous diffusion capacity at Pierrelatte or construction of a European diffusion plant, which is being studied at French initiative by a European group (EURODIF).

The EURODIF group is examining the feasibility of establishing a major enrichment plant in Europe, based on French diffusion technology. The outcome of this study is critically dependent upon obtaining long-term power supplies at reasonably low prices. No decision has been announced yet on the interim con­ clusions of this study. Sweden and Spain joined the study during the year, but the UK, the Netherlands and West Germany withdrew and are now wholly committed to centrifuge development.


Another initiative has been taken in Europe by the Tripartite Organisation of West Germany, the UK and the Netherlands, who are co-ordinating their centri­ fuge technology research and development. The Tripartite, through its operating company URENCO, at present is commissioning centrifuge plants with capacities

of 15,000-25,000 SWU/year at Capenhurst (UK) and Almelo (Netherlands). The first batches of machines in these pilot plants are apparently operating successfully. Some earlier prototype machines have achieved lifetimes in excess of six years without catastrophic failure. URENCO has announced plans to

achieve a capacity of two million SWU/year by 1980, and ten million SWU/year by 1985. This is an increase over previously announced plans and indicates growing confidence in centrifuge technology as a competitor to diffusion in Europe.

Association for Centrifuge Enrichment

In May 1973, URENCO Ltd held a meeting in London to establish an Association for Centrifuge Enrichment (ACE). Organisations in Australia as well as organisations in other countries were invited to participate in a study to assess the technical and economic features of the centrifuge process and the methods of financing, construction, siting and operation of centrifuge enrichment plants.

The Commission joined ACE at its first Board Meeting on 1 June 1973, along with organisations from France, Canada, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands, UK, Sweden, Spain and Italy, in addition to the Tripartite companies, URENCO and CENTEC.


Japan is heavily committed to nuclear power and is increasingly concerned to ensure supplies of enriched uranium. It has, therefore, taken a number of initiatives during the year.

The Japanese Government agreed, at discussions between Prime Minister Tanaka and President Nixon, to purchase ten million units of separative work valued at US$320 million from the USA for delivery in the period 1978-82. Payment for this material will be made in 1973. An objective of this purchase,

in addition to securing supplies, was to partially redress the imbalance of payments between the two countries. USA and Japan also agreed to examine the feasibility of joint investment in a plant to be built in the USA, but as yet no firm plans have been announced for the study.

Japan participated in a study with France to examine the future market for enrichment and the way in which this might be satisfied through the building of diffusion enrichment plants. The study examined demand for enrichment and the plans of producing Countries, but did not involve access to classified technology.

The study has been completed, but no announcement has been made of the results, or of any plans for continuation.

Japan is participating also in the Association for Centrifuge Enrichment. In the long term, Japan plans to satisfy part of its domestic requirements from its own plants, probably based upon centrifuge technology; diffusion plants would probably be unattractive in Japan because of high power costs. Estimates of the

proportion of Japanese demand to be satisfied by domestic plants vary from 10% to 50% by 1985. Japan has recently increased spending on centrifuge research and development and given this work the status of a national program.



During 1972, the Commission continued a preliminary study of the feasibility of building a large diffusion enrichment plant in Australia. The study was made in association with the Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique (CEA) of France and was based on the use of French gaseous diffusion technology.

The study included identification of possible sites, estimation of the costs of construction and operation at these sites, examination of the resources required (energy, labour, capital, industrial capacity), and of potential markets. The study was limited to the examination of basic feasibility, and did not in any way imply a commitment to proceed with such a project.

Possible sites for such a plant were examined in collaboration with officers of various State departments and the Northern Territory Administration, with particular attention to the availability of energy and cooling water, transport and infrastructure requirements, consequences in terms of regional development, and environmental aspects. The magnitude of such a project is such that demands on labour and industrial resources could affect both regional and national develop­ ment. Australian industry would be capable of producing a large fraction of the materials and equipment required, but some special components probably would have to be imported.

Preliminary estimates were made of the capital and operating costs of such a plant in Australia, based on European cost estimates and comparison of Aus­ tralian and European prices. However, the major factors affecting the long-term economic merit of the project would be the price to be paid for the large electrical power requirements, the firmness of contracts to purchase the output, and the future movements in enrichment prices. Future prices for enrichment services are extremely difficult to predict at present, because there are as yet no firm commitments by commercial organisations to supply such services.

Further assessment of the enrichment options open to Australia must be made on a broad basis in the light of the developing shortage of enrichment capacity in the Western World, planning for new capacity in other countries and the emergence of the centrifuge method. The Commission is pursuing these studies internally and in association with other departments, and will continue to re­ examine the situation as further information becomes available.


As stated in its Report for 1971-72, the Commission has carried out research and development on the centrifuge method of enrichment since 1965 with the long-term objective of establishing the feasibility of the process as an alternative to diffusion.

Machines have been developed, and single units and experimental cascades have operated satisfactorily over extended periods. Studies of the performance of modular cascades include simulation by various computational models which extend the capability to study a range of operating conditions. Laboratory work is continuing towards the development of machines with better performance and lower costs and the examination of plant design and operation characteristics. In


collaboration with industry, work is proceeding towards optimising machine and cascade designs for the mass production necessary for commercial plants and to establish preliminary cost data.


The Commission has carried out an extensive review of possible alternative methods of enrichment, and work has continued at the Research Establishment on possible enrichment mechanisms based on small differences in chemical and other properties of the uranium isotopes. An economic assessment of a plant to separate

uranium isotopes by ion exchange, based on experimentally measured values of the separation factor and rates of exchange, showed that the capital cost would be significantly higher than that of a gaseous diffusion plant. High-resolution spectroscopic equipment is being used to study energy level differences of uranium

isotopes in a search for novel methods of enrichment.


An understanding of the fabrication, structure, properties and performance of nuclear fuels is important in the evaluation and assessment of the performance, safety and reliability of nuclear power plants. It is also important in the technology and economics of the various processing steps of the uranium nuclear fuel cycle,

since the chemical and physical properties of fuel materials affect fuel performance.

In recent years, considerable work has been done on the fabrication and properties of uranium dioxide (UCL) and on the fabrication steps involved in the production of components and of complete fuel assemblies. Technical and economic studies on the feasibility of fuel element manufacture have been com­

pleted to identify the timing and scale of activities, and the requirements for technology and financing. Fuel element manufacture in Australia would be viable early in a nuclear power program, but is unlikely to be commercially viable until

late in the next decade. In the meantime, the requirement for basic understanding of nuclear fuels still exists, in connection with possible developments in the uranium processing industry, and the preparation of licensing, regulatory, safety, and environmental criteria for all classes of nuclear installations.

Against this background, the Commission has been re-examining the direc­ tion of its work on nuclear reactor fuels. Effort and resources devoted to fuel fabrication studies are being reduced, but longer-term studies of a more basic nature are continuing, coupled with more attention to assessment of performance

and problems of fuel in reactor types in widespread use overseas.

Specifically, studies at Lucas Heights on the manufacture and processing of UCL are being reduced. These studies have shown several desirable improvements to established processes. New developments have been made in the use of pulsed fluidised beds for reduction of ammonium diuranate (ADU) to UO_., and in solid-

bowl centrifuges for dewatering ADU slurries. Equipment at Lucas Heights has been used to demonstrate standards for fuel manufacture and to improve manu­ facturing methods. The equipment is now directed mainly to producing special components for irradiation testing.

The major research effort of the Materials Division recently has concerned the behaviour of the UOL , pellet and cladding and their mutual interaction under reactor conditions. Commissioning of an in-pile test loop for the reactor H1FAR


is expected to be completed by the end of 1973. Work has concentrated on refining the techniques and pre- and post-irradiation examination. Development of expertise in the examination of irradiated fuel, including fuel failures, is essential for the assessment of performance and safety of reactor fuel.

The Materials Division work is supported by studies in Engineering Research Division on core performance calculations which deal with the production of heat, its distribution in the core, and the limits to which the fuel can be burnt up; theoretical and experimental studies of the transfer of heat from the fuel to the coolant, and thermal conditions at the fuel surface; and studies of the mechanical stability of the fuel assembly, its vibrational modes and the influence of these on fuel wear and abrasion.

REPROCESSING AND RECYCLING POWER REACTOR FUEL Residual uranium and the plutonium contained in irradiated fuel discharged from power reactors may be recovered by chemical reprocessing of the spent fuel elements. The use of the uranium depends on the degree to which it has been depleted in the fissile isotope 238U; if it is below the naturally-occurring concen­ tration, recycling is unlikely to be economic while fresh uranium is in plentiful supply. Recycling of recovered uranium from all light-water reactor fuel could reduce the demand for fresh natural uranium by up to about 20% ; the actual percentage will depend on the ratio of the reactor types operating (BWRs to PWRs) and the level used for diffusion plant tails. If plutonium also was recycled the demand could be reduced by a further 10%.

The intense radioactivity present in discharged fuel necessitates careful shielding and containment for radiological safety during reprocessing. Consequently, the capital costs of reprocessing plants are high, and unit costs for fuel reprocessing depend heavily on the scale of operation and plant utilisation.

Preliminary estimates suggest that the cumulative arisings from an Aus­ tralian program could not support a reprocessing plant of economic capacity before the 1990s. Reprocessing in Australia at an earlier date could be economic­ ally viable only for large-scale toll reprocessing of fuel from overseas reactors.

Research relevant to the reprocessing of nuclear fuel has been limited to background studies on the separation of transuranium elements (plutonium, americium, curium) from fission products, together with preliminary studies of design concepts which appear to offer significant potential for the reduction of the capital costs of reprocessing plants. Substantial capital savings appear possible with plants based on existing technology, but incorporating new approaches to maintenance procedures and active handling operations.

TREATMENT, STORAGE AND DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES To date, in Australia, wastes containing only minor quantities of radioactive material have arisen, primarily from the production of radioisotopes and their application in medicine and industry, and from the operation of a nuclear research establishment. These arisings have not created any major technical or policy



The construction of nuclear power stations and/or the establishment of a nuclear fuel industry in Australia would require, through close co-operation between State and Commonwealth authorities, the establishment of long-term policies and arrangements for management of a wider variety of wastes con­

taminated with radioactivity.

The first area for detailed attention is the prevention of contamination of the environment from radioactive and other materials and waste solvents arising in the mining and milling of uranium ores (see Chapter 5). Further upgrading operations such as conversion, enrichment and fuel manufacture also give rise to

wastes contaminated with radioactivity. Although all these operations require careful planning, design, and control in relation to the environment, the actual amounts of radioactivity involved are relatively small. Large-scale arisings of waste radioactivity occur only after nuclear fuel has been irradiated in reactors.

Thus, in the long-term, the most important problem is that of treatment, storage, and ultimate disposal of wastes arising from nuclear fuel reprocessing. These wastes contain fission products and actinide isotopes, some of which retain their radioactivity and toxicity for thousands of years and require special control.

Extensive work is being devoted overseas towards permanent isolation of these wastes from the environment following their encapsulation or conversion into stable forms; promising results have been achieved. Suitable locations for their

ultimate disposal are still under study.

As reprocessing operations on discharged fuel are unlikely to begin in Australia for several years, there is time for careful study of overseas practices and problems, and for long-term planning towards a co-ordinated national approach to radioactive waste management.

The Commission’s objective is to apply the results of such studies to assist in the establishment of appropriate safeguards and procedures for the long-term control of radioactive wastes, and to ensure that these are based on sound economic, technological and environmental information.

Research effort by the Commission on waste management is concentrated at present on investigation of treatment processes for wastes from mining and milling operations. Research and development work relevant to the environmental aspects of the processing of uranium ores has continued in the Chemical Tech­

nology Division. The concentration of many components in the barren liquors from uranium mills may be reduced considerably by neutralisation, but some components, e.g., radium, copper, lead, zinc and dissolved amines, are difficult to remove to very low levels.

Because uranium ores are usually complex in composition, effluents from different plants may differ considerably and each effluent will need to be investi­ gated to ensure that adequate decontamination from potential pollutants is achieved. Initial work was done with typical leach liquors obtained from the

Rum Jungle plant before it ceased operation, and further studies are under way on liquors produced from ores from other areas to establish whether simple methods of treatment can have general application. Neutralisation of acid liquors with lime was effective for the removal of copper, lead and zinc to low levels, but

further alkali was required to give maximum removal of dissolved solids, amines and uranium. The use of lime-soda ash mixtures was more effective than the use of lime alone for the removal of radium, but the residual concentration of radium was still high enough to require further treatment. Precipitation with


Large numbers of environmental samples are analysed at the Commission’s Research Establishment at Lucas Heights. Shown here is determination of uranium by fluorimetry (left) and determination of copper, lead, zinc, cobalt, manganese and molybdenum by flameless, atomic absorp­ tion spectroscopy using a carbon rod (below). Elements to be determined may only be at trace levels in the environment and very sensitive methods are necessary

for their determination.


barium chloride or adsorption on barytes (barium sulphate) is a promising method for the additional treatment stage. Dissolved and entrained amines were poorly removed from liquors by washing them with kerosene and alternative methods

are under investigation.

SYMPOSIUM ON URANIUM PROCESSING A two-day Symposium on Uranium Processing was held at Lucas Heights in July 1972 as a discussion forum to assist those planning for a future uranium industry in Australia. The symposium was organised by the Commission, and about three-quarters of the 140 participants came from other organisations; of these the majority were industry representatives.

Papers were presented on a number of topics, including a review of world trends in nuclear fuel cycles, processing of uranium ores, possible trends for the production of high-purity concentrates, UF|; manufacture, and uranium marketing. The papers were published by the Commission in a single volume in September




Nuclear power now offers another degree of freedom in planning the optimum use of Australia’s energy resources. Its introduction into Australia together, perhaps, with some components of a nuclear energy industry, would not be without environmental and public health consequences. Some of these will be beneficial, some undesirable. The Commission is examining appropriate ways of assessing these benefits and penalties so that the total environmental and public health costs of nuclear power generation can be compared with the social costs of producing power by alternative technologies.

A considerable amount of information is available upon which to base these assessments but more data, better models and, in some cases, more appropriate concepts are required before adequate answers can be given to the many questions that arise. For example:

® What changes to the ecology and landscape would be produced by a nuclear power industry and how may they be assessed and compared with those associated with the use of other sources of energy?

• Which of the radioactive materials and harmful non-radioactive materials associated with nuclear power production are most likely to be released into the environment? What can be done to reduce these releases?

e How do radioactive and other harmful materials spread through the environment, and how can this dispersion be identified, quantified and minimised?

• What are the effects on man and on other species, of harmful substances released in the production of nuclear power? How can these effects best be measured, and how should they be compared with the harmful effects which arise from the production of power by other means?

• How does radiation produce its harmful effects, tracing as far as possible the sequence of events from the initial physical absorption of radiation energy to the ultimate biological expression? Can these effects be modified at or after the time of energy absorption?

e What is the precise form of the dose-response relationship (on which hangs the validity of our protective measures and our predictions of the scale of effects) in all circumstances of exposure?

The Commission is attempting to provide answers to some of these questions.



In the Northern Territory, the Commission continued its field research program in the Alligator Rivers area. This program, which is part of the joint Government-Industry Fact-finding Study, is designed to assess the environmental effects of proposed uranium mining and milling operations in the Alligator Rivers

Uranium Field. The study has been centred mainly in the vicinity of uranium deposits outlined to date.

Chemical wastes generated by the uranium extractive industry would, if present above threshold concentrations, be toxic to aquatic and littoral plant and animal species. The variety of potential pollutants which may be present varies with the nature of the ore (e.g., with the content of sulphide impurities),

the leachant (whether sulphuric acid or carbonate/bicarbonate) and the method used for uranium extraction (organic solvents or exchange resins), and includes acids, alkalis, organic compounds, heavy metals and suspended solids. It is not generally practicable, and probably impossible, to contain all wastes generated.

A well-engineered tailings dam can be expected to have a small but finite seepage loss. In the Northern Territory, with its heavy seasonal rainfall, it may even be undesirable, as complete containment of all run-off waters could affect adversely local hydrology.

This means there is a need for design criteria, which effectively specify requirements for containment and waste treatment, and for standards for effluents (i.e., discharge authorisations), such that no unacceptable environ­ mental deterioration will result from mining operations. Specific tasks which

must be accomplished to allow formulation of these criteria and standards, and to which the research program relates are:

• Description of the sources and nature of potential pollutants.

• Ecological mapping to define the habitats of sensitive species.

• The determination of tolerance levels for the sensitive habitats for the likely pollutants, singly or in combinations.

® Description of physical and biological concentrating mechanisms.

e Determination of dilution factors for pollutants from the point of discharge to the sensitive habitat.

• Establishment of the radiological and chemical requirements for water potability and related aspects of land use.

Significant progress was made by the Commission during the year on each of these tasks.

Chemical A s p e c t s of Pollution Control Related to this work on the environmental impact of uranium milling are studies being undertaken by the Commission of techniques for purifying waste materials such as raffinate liquors from uranium extraction plant. Existing pro­ cesses are being examined and potential improvements evaluated with emphasis on

means of reducing releases of radioactivity and chemical pollutants to as low a lex el as practicable. This work was described in Chapter 4.


As part of an environmental study of areas dose to the A lligator Rivers Uranium Field fish are netted for use in a controlled laboratory study. The toxicity of a range of pollutants is studied by introducing them into tanks under controlled conditions, and then determining the effects on fish.

Crustacea and plankton.

At the Commission’s field laboratory at Jabiru, 220 km east of Darwin, Northern Territory, pilot-scale experi­ ments on the up-take and concen­ tration of radioactivity and heavy metals by market garden crops are being conducted as part of the

environmental study.


Radon Monitoring Another research project concerned with uranium mining, which is being undertaken by the Commission at Lucas Heights, is the development of an instrument to monitor the alpha-emitting radioactive daughter products of

radon and suitable for use as a personal dosimeter for uranium miners. Inhalation of radon and its daughters is the major radiological hazard associated with uranium mining. Although atmospheric radon is not likely to present a problem in open-cut mining, it could be a hazard in underground mines. No satisfactory personal radon monitor suitable for field use has yet been developed.

The technique being examined is based on the detection of alpha-radiation by means of thin plastic films. The alpha particles in passing through the films leave tracks which, after suitable development, can be seen and counted visually or counted automatically. Film has been made which is particularly suitable for

the measurement of the alpha radiation associated with radon, but a practical field dosimeter still awaits development. Another facet of this project has been the application of the technique to the measurement of radon levels in the ground water of uranium orebodies.

Radioactive Iodine Filtration S y s t e m s One of the radioactive elements produced in reactors and which causes concern is radioactive iodine. This element is readily volatilised and, if it escapes into the atmosphere, can eventually settle on grass, and may find its way into milk and be consumed by man. Iodine is concentrated in the thyroid gland, which

then receives a higher radiation dose than the rest of the body. There is, therefore, considerable interest in improving methods of removing iodine from the air into which it may have been released, before it can lead to the exposure of people. This interest is relevant both to the improvement of working conditions in radioactive laboratories, where radioiodine may be a potential

hazard, and to the minimisation of environmental releases of iodine. The Com­ mission has a continuing research program to improve iodine filtration systems, and now has modular charcoal filter units of its own design installed in several research facilities. Laboratory testing indicates that these have very good

efficiency. Their use will be extended if further proved in practice.

Meteorology During normal operation of nuclear facilities, some radioactive pollutants at low levels may be released into the atmosphere. A discharge authorisation sets the limits to permissible releases. The formulation of this authorisation requires

knowledge of the local meteorology because important factors are the capacity of the atmosphere to dilute and to disperse. Ideally, local dispersion at a site should be assessed from meteorological data recorded continuously at various heights over many seasons. With conventional

equipment, such data collection can be approximated only by using towers and periodic balloon flights. The Commission’s environmental studies group has been studying the data-collecting potential of a recently introduced instrument, the acoustic sounder, which can locate air turbulence layers and temperature

inversions in the atmosphere. Ground-based equipment emits sound pulses and detects the sound reflected from these scattering layers. Present indications are that such equipment will prove to be a significant advance in assessing the dispersion capacity of the atmosphere in the vicinity of nuclear facilities.


The Lucas Heights Establishment Atmospheric and waterborne releases of radioactivity from the Commission's Research Estabiishment at Lucas Heights are allowed only within limits agreed with the New South Wales State authorities and which are set down in discharge authorisations.

Since the Research Establishment was set up at Lucas Heights, its environ­ ment has been surveyed for radioactive materials and the results published in a series of reports. Records over the past ten years show that the limits have been adhered to. It is estimated that the maximum annual dose that any individual member of the public could conceivably have received from radioactivity emanat­

ing from the Research Establishment is certainly less than one thousandth of that received annually from background radiation, and probably very much less.

BIOPHYSICAL RESEARCH National and international recommendations for the control and regulation of radiation exposure prescribe maximum permissible doses for occupational exposure and dose limits for individual members of the public. In addition, the

recommendations contain exhortations to limit exposures to levels as far below these limits as is practicable. These recommendations are based, inter alia, on the assumption that the principal harmful effects of radiation (cancer and gene mutation) are proportional to dose for all doses and dose rates — the linear hypothesis. This hypothesis was adopted in the absence of other knowledge because it was the most conservative, reasonable extrapolation that could be made from the available high-dose data, but it is not necessarily the most likely. It is likely that the linear hypothesis over-estimates the magnitude of effects at the low doses and dose rates which are important in radiation protection, and it is quite possible there are sometimes no effects at all under these conditions. This degree of uncertainty is undesirable: it leads to a great deal of possibly

unnecessary expense in the control and reduction of exposure to very low limits, and fear of the effects of very small doses of radiation may be aroused


Therefore, the most useful objective for radiobiological research is probably to refine knowledge of the dose-response relationship, for radiation-induced effects, to the point where valid predictions of radiation effects can be made for low doses and low dose-rates. Unfortunately, the most desirable objective is also the most difficult to attain. The scope for direct experimentation with animals

is limited by the smallness of the possible effect at doses of interest and the consequent need for very large-scale experiments to overcome the interference of statistical fluctuations in the level of effect. Research on this topic within the Commission has been less direct therefore and has set out to answer two questions:

• How are individual mammalian cells in laboratory culture inactivated by radiation? There may be something in their modes of response to radiation, or there may be differences between cells of different types, which afford a clue to radiation action.

• What can be deduced from a theoretical and physical study of the modes of dissipation of radiation energy within biological material? It may be that tracing the effect from physical deposition of energy to biological manifes­ tation in a cell would allow us to relate the two in a quantitative manner. This approach, of course, is difficult also, but it is at least feasible logistically.


Tissue Culture Experim ents Much previous work elsewhere, and some in the Commission’s laboratories, has shown that mammalian cells are not inactivated by radiation in a simple linear manner, and that this non-linearity is attributable to repair phenomena. It is not possible to infer from this that the induction of cancer or mutations is also non-linear, because it is not known if the intracellular radiation target is the same

in each case. This identification might be made if cell inactivation could be identified with injury to the cell’s genetic material (DNA) which duplicates with division. A lead to this possibility was explored in recent work on the inactivation of lymphocytes, a particular class of cell which, unlike ordinary cells in culture, is killed before division and concomitant DNA synthesis. It was found that non­ linearity and an apparent threshold were also present in the inactivation data for these cells, though at values different from those found for the other mam­

malian cells. This, unfortunately, is not conclusive evidence on the mode of inacti­ vation, but does suggest that injury is not limited to DNA.

Physical S tu d ies There is a special interest in the dosimetry and biological effectiveness of low energy neutrons — which may be present in occupational exposure in nuclear establishments— because there is some uncertainty as to their effectiveness in producing biological damage compared with equivalent absorbed doses of X-

radiation. It is known from work within the Commission that the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of such neutrons for inactivation of mammalian cells can be as high as about 100, and similar figures have been obtained elsewhere for other biological systems. An understanding of this property would clearly

contribute to the understanding of radiation inactivation in general. The explana­ tion lies in part in the pattern of energy deposition in small volumes, comparable in size with living cells. Calculations of the modes of energy transfer from neutrons in biological material via electrons and heavy charged particles are being carried

out to study these energy deposition patterns in greater detail.

It is hoped that some unifying theory for the action of radiation on biological material will emerge from these and related studies. When such models are formulated they can be used to make predictions of biological response. However, there are complications in testing such predictions; results are confused by indirect

effects (for example, the biological amplification of a specific radiation chemical injury) and by repair phenomena. To reduce these difficulties cells can be irradiated at liquid nitrogen temperatures and subsequently thawed and cultured. A program of work with deep-frozen cells has been initiated. It is believed that by this approach at least one theoretical model resulting from Commission studies can

be tested.


The introduction of nuclear power to Australia, and a rational approach to the regulation of radiation exposure in general, will require some expansion and co-ordination of existing State and Commonwealth legislation. For the present, at least, it will be necessary that legislation continue to be based on the Recom­

mendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). The ICRP assumes that any exposure to radiation entails some risk of deleterious effects and recommends that exposures be limited until the assumed risks are


deemed to be acceptable in view of the benefits to be expected from the activities leading to the exposures.

Public health measures which follow from this approach are:

• Agreed dose limits for individual members of the public and for radiation workers.

• An acceptable limit to the mean population dose from man-made sources of radiation.

• An agreed apportionment of the accepted population dose between various sources of human exposure.

• Specification of the integrated population dose which can be attributed to particular classes of nuclear facility (to allow rational distribution of dose between the different classes).

• The definition of nuclear accidents; that is, what risk from radiation exposure, to individuals and the population, is a tolerable concomitant of nuclear accidents?

• The establishment of common philosophies for regulating the discharge of radioactive pollutants.

The Commission has contributed in these areas through governmental advisory committees and by a rather limited degree of public education through exhibitions and contribution to public discussion.

The Commission is able to assist in the formulation of such legislation and codes of practice as may be introduced to meet these requirements by providing advice to the relevant departments. It can also disseminate information to help the community understand the background to proposed legislation.

Staff members have, for example, been associated with the Commonwealth Department of Health in the preparation of a draft code of practice on radiation protection in the mining and milling of uranium, and in committee studies on the concepts of acceptable risks and reference dose levels to be used in radiation accidents.

In June, a Commission officer served on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s panel of experts on the IAEA’s Responsibilities Under the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter. Under this Convention the IAEA is responsible for defining, “on public health, biological or other grounds”, high-level radioactive wastes or other high-level radioactive matter that shall not be dumped at sea; and for recommending the conditions under which special permits may be issued for the dumping of such

radioactive materials as are not prohibited under the Convention.

More attention to public education in these areas is felt to be necessary, however, if the community is to be able to come to informed decisions on the risks and benefits associated with nuclear power and the role it can play in the development of Australia’s energy resources.




Radioisotopes and radiation are an inevitable part of the experience of any laboratory involved in the study and development of nuclear energy. They can be regarded as problem by-products when power development is the only objective, but they can also be regarded as forms of matter and energy which have many

beneficial and potential uses in medicine, industry and science.

The latter attitude has been taken by the Commission and a substantial part of the research effort of the well-equipped, multidisciplinary-staffed laboratories of the Commission’s Research Establishment has been directed towards obtaining maximum national benefit from skilled and safe use of radio­

isotopes and radiation.

This has involved research into various aspects of industrial uses of radio­ isotopes, the measurement and standardisation of radioisotopes and radiation, and studies on the biological effects of radiation with a view to gaining a better understanding of radiotherapy. A major and ever-increasing contribution is

being made also in the field of nuclear medicine through the development and regular supply of specific diagnostic radioactive products generally known as radiopharmaceuticals.

Where the research is likely to be of significant industrial or medical value, it is frequently undertaken with the co-operation of potential users. The Com­ mission considers that this will give the maximum opportunity to bridge the gap between essentially laboratory research and the development and innovation

necessary for commercial success which can come only from assistance by an industry or other user. A typical example of this is the on-stream mineral analysis research and development which, through Commission-industry-commerce co-operation, has now become an accepted innovation in the mineral industry.

Likewise, co-operation between the Commission and medical research schools and hospitals has contributed substantially to Australia becoming a leader in nuclear medicine.

The broad and unique coverage of many subjects related to radioisotopes and radiation, and the concentration of facilities and expertise at the Commission’s Research Establishment, has meant that it has evolved into a national radioisotope and radiation laboratory. It has become a centre which can adequately and

effectively work or advise on problems which involve the supply, application and safe handling of radioisotopes and radiation for the benefit of the nation’s industry, science and medicine.



D evelopm ent Leading to Commercial Exploitation During the past 12 years the Commission has undertaken research into radioisotope X-ray techniques and their application to analysis in industry. Early applications of this research adopted by industry were the accurate measurement of tin coating on steel (tinplate) and silver in photographic film emulsions.

However, the widest field of application has been in the mineral industry for on-stream measurement of the concentration of commercially valuable elements such as tin, lead, copper, zinc, iron, nickel and bismuth in mineral slurries.

Following successful plant trials for on-stream analysis of lead, and laboratory development of techniques for other elements such as copper, zinc and tin, the Commission sought the co-operation of the Australian Mineral Industries Research Association Ltd (AMIRA) and the Australian Mineral Development Laboratories

(Amdel) to demonstrate further the usefulness of the techniques to the mineral industry. Staff of Amdel, financially supported by both the Commission and AMIRA, were given extensive training in the techniques at the Commission’s Research Establishment and took part in joint plant trials with Commission staff.

In 1971, an Agreement was concluded with Philips Industries Ltd in which Philips would be responsible for the manufacture and commercial exploitation of the systems, with Amdel acting as consultants undertaking feasibility studies and plant installations, the Commission to continue its research and act as

technical advisers as necessary, and AMIRA to act in a liaison function with the industry.

The co-operation spelt-out by the Agreement has proved satisfactory. The work this year has been mainly in consolidating the methods, design and manu­ facture of commercial units and their adaptation to industrial requirements. On-stream analysers based on the radioisotope X-ray head units as developed by the Commission, incorporated into immersion probes suggested and originally developed by The Zinc Corporation Ltd, are now available commercially. These are suitable for accurate measurement of concentration of most elements of commercial significance at various stages in the mineral processing plants.

On-stream A nalysers

On-stream analysis depends on the interaction of X-rays from a radioisotope source with the chemical elements in the mineral slurry. The two basic methods of analysis are:

(1) X-ray fluorescence, in which X-rays from the radioisotope excite the element of interest resulting in emission of X-rays characteristic of the element in energy or wavelength.

(2) X-ray absorption, in which the absorption of X-rays from the radioisotope by the mineral slurry is measured.

In each case the detected X-ray intensity is proportional to the concentration of the element in the slurry. Complementary techniques depending on these methods have been developed and can be used to determine the concentration of most elements of commercial significance, except low atomic number elements such as aluminium and silicon.


The problems, which involved years of research, concerned the accurate differentiation by physical and electronic methods of the radiation characteristic of different elements, and the assurance that systems proved in the laboratory would function under the harsh conditions of a mineral concentrator.

The key components of on-stream analysis equipment and their layout in a processing plant are shown in colour Plates 2 and 3. The radioisotope X-ray probes are immersed directly into flowing streams of mineral slurries, and electrical signals from the probes are conveyed by short cables to a nearby electronic unit

which sorts and pre-scales the signals from the probes. The output is then fed via long cables to a small computer in the plant control room. The computer processes the signals from the various probes in the plant to determine element concentration.

The presentation of the results in digital or electrical analogue output means that they are ideal for adaptation to automatic plant control which is now the subject of study by the mining companies.

The techniques are now well on the way to becoming an established com­ ponent in mineral plant instrumentation and on-stream analysers have been installed at five Australian mineral plants, as shown below.

Analysis No. of Streams for Analysed

North Broken Hill Ltd Lead 1

New Broken Hill Consolidated Ltd Lead 3

Zinc 1

Kanmantoo Mines Ltd Copper 2

Cobar Mines Pty Ltd Copper 2

Mt Lyell Mining & Railway Co. Ltd Copper 2

Feasibility studies for at least 16 mineral concentrators have been undertaken for mining companies in Australia for the on-stream determination of one or more of the elements nickel, copper, zinc, tin and lead. A number of plant installations are expected to follow in the near future.

The first on-stream analysis installation was made by the Commission early in 1968 at the plant of North Broken Hill Ltd and it has operated well since then. On-stream analysers have also been used routinely in the Amdel pilot plant in South Australia (used to establish the best techniques for concentration of

valuable elements by flotation processes), and by the University of Queensland and Mt Isa Mines Ltd at the Mt Isa plant.

The Commission completed its main research program in on-stream analysis during 1973 and published six research papers. Research during the year extended the usefulness of two of the types of probes, and simplified them so that it is now possible to standardise on five types to meet essentially all the on-stream analysis

requirements for elements such as iron, nickel, copper, zinc, tin, lead and bismuth. The Commission also developed plutonium 238 and curium 244 radioisotope X-ray sources. These will be made available commercially by the Commission for on-stream and other analysis applications.

A s s e s s m e n t s of the Australian T echniques Plant experience and feasibility studies of radioisotope on-stream analysers were discussed in detail at the Seminar, “Review of On-Stream Analysis Practice”, organised jointly by AM1RA and the W.A. School of Mines and held in May 1973


at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. The papers and statements by existing users in the mineral industry demonstrated their confidence in the reliability and accuracy of the analysers as the result of in-plant experience.

The analysers developed by the Commission were described by the Commis­ sion officer directly responsible for this development in an invited review paper at the IAEA Symposium on the “Use of Nuclear Techniques in the Basic Metal Industries”, Helsinki, August 1972. The Proceedings of this Symposium record international acceptance of this important Australian research work.

The potential annual economic benefit to the Australian mineral industry arising from better control of mineral concentrators by this technique has been estimated at about $4 million, based on present sales of non-ferrous minerals. Factors which contribute to the benefits to industry, depending on the individual plant economics, are:

1. Increased recovery of metals and reductions in elements subject to penalty.

2. Savings in reagents used.

3. Increased grade of concentrate and consequent freight reduction.

4. Reduction in analytical staff requirements.

A future benefit will arise from the application of these analytical methods to automatic control systems.

On-stream analysers are the first sophisticated industrial nucleonic equipment based on Australian research to be developed, designed, manufactured and marketed in Australia. The project has provided considerable experience for future development of other nucleonic equipment from Australian research and there is promise of a significant export market.

NUCLEAR TECHNIQUES OF ANALYSIS Penetrating radiation such as gamma-rays can be used to obtain average element concentrations over large volumes of rock or mineral product. Recent Commission research has led to the development of an analysis technique suitable for the in situ determination of copper or nickel in large diameter boreholes.

The technique depends on the selective scattering of gamma-radiation when it is in exact resonance with the nucleus of the element of interest. A probe based on this principle has been developed and tested. Laboratory research has shown that for boreholes of diameter greater than 14 cm, the probe will permit the determination of 0.5% copper or nickel to ± 0.1% in less than one minute. The technique is relatively insensitive to variations in borehole diameter, rock density and probe location. Development of borehole logging equipment for field trials is being considered.

NUCLEAR TECHNIQUES IN HYDROLOGY The Commission is undertaking research into the application of nuclear techniques to the elucidation of water resource problems. Two types of nuclear techniques are involved — environmental isotopes and artificial tracers. The environmental hydrogen isotopes (tritium and deuterium) and carbon 14 are used to obtain information on origin, age and extent of aquifer recharge. Artificial


tracers can be used for studies of sediment movement, velocity and direction of flow of underground water, and river flow.

As part of the environmental isotope program, the Commission has developed complex equipment for the accurate measurement of extremely small concentra­ tions of tritium, deuterium and carbon 14 in natural waters. Tritium and deuterium, as isotopes of hydrogen, are incorporated in the water molecule, while

carbon 14 occurs in carbonates dissolved in water. Tritium and carbon 14 are radioisotopes formed in the atmosphere by cosmic radiation, but also in recent years as a result of nuclear explosions. As water moves from the surface into the ground, the concentration of the radioisotopes decreases due to radioactive

decay. The concentration measured in underground water is thus an indication of the time the water has been out of contact with surface water. Deuterium is a stable isotope of hydrogen, and the ratio of deuterium to the normal hydrogen isotope varies in natural waters depending on such factors as latitude and altitude.

The concentration of deuterium thus gives an indication of origin of underground waters.

The Commission is collaborating with various hydrological authorities in the application of environmental isotopes to the elucidation of underground water systems. The authorities include the N.S.W. Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission, the Australian Water Resources Council, the Water Resources

Branch of the Department of the Northern Territory and the State Electricity Commission of Victoria.

In the co-operative program with the N.S.W. Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission to study the aquifer system in the Namoi River Valley, tritium concentrations have shown that in the Wee Waa-Narrabri area there is very little recharge of the top aquifers from the river and that water flow through the

aquifer and from the river is very slow. In the deeper aquifer, measurements by carbon 14 dating indicate ages of water ranging from 600 to 28,000 years, depend­ ing on depth of aquifer and distance from the river.

The Commission is participating with other hydrology organisations in the Burdekin Delta Artificial Groundwater Recharge Study (Q’ld). Measurements of tritium concentrations have shown that water in the aquifer at depths more than 12 metres below mean sea-level entered the aquifer more than 40 years ago.

The tritium measurements have indicated also that recharge from the Burdekin River flows at a rate of approximately one metre a day, representing a recharge rate of about 3 x 10fi litres/day per kilometre of river bank.

Research into the application of artificial radioisotopes to water resource problems was initiated early in 1973. The first objective is to develop techniques for measurement of the velocity and direction of flow of ground water by deter­ mining the velocity of drift of tracers within a single borehole. The next objective

is to develop artificial tracer techniques to follow the movement of silts and clays in rivers, recharge pits and channels within aquifers.


Termites are causing considerable damage to railway sleepers on the line between Mt Newman and Pt Hedland, Western Australia, and it is important that attacked sleepers be located quickly. Termite attack is frequently not visible on external inspection. The Commission has designed a machine which, as it moves


along the track, uses the backscatter of gamma-radiation to detect low density in sleepers which is indicative of termite damage. An extensive field trial of the machine is planned. Another Commission development can be used to trace termite activity. The insects are fed baits containing an insoluble radioactive compound, scandium 46 oxide, which is rapidly excreted. As termites use excreta in making the walls of their underground galleries and nests, the locations of these can be determined with a portable radiation detector even though they may be up to a metre underground.

GAS FLOW MEASUREMENT An absolute method of gas flow measurement has been developed by the Commission using radioactive krypton 85 gas. Patent protection has been sought and a licence granted to Australian Consolidated Industries Ltd to exploit the technique on a consulting basis in Australia, New Zealand, Papua-New Guinea and South-East Asia.

The technique is expected to have considerable value in the calibration of continuous measurement instruments in natural gas pipelines, in chemical plant, in gas reticulation systems and in other gas flow problems. It could also be adopted as a national standard for gas flow measurement.

PHOTO-ETCHING USING RADIOISOTOPES The technique of toning the silver image in a photograph with the radioisotope californium 252, has introduced some new possibilities in photography, auto­ radiography and photomechanical reproduction. Such photographs continuously emit fission fragments which become embedded in any surface placed in contact with the photograph. In many materials, parts of the surface damaged by the radiation can be etched away to produce an intaglio image consisting of micro­ scopic etch-pits, each of which bears a close positional relationship to silver grains in the original photograph, allowing high-quality etchings to be produced. In many non-metallic materials, such as glass, mica and plastics, a high-fidelity engraved

image can be produced without the need for diffusing screens and etch-resists which previously limited the resolution obtainable in photo-engraving. The new technique could find application in decorative or precise etching and may be adaptable to high-quality printing. Highly-decorative metal relief photo­ graphs have been prepared by making metal replicas of intaglio images on glass surfaces (depositing a thin layer of metal which is later reinforced electrolytically). Such reproductions of photographs will be permanent when made with noble metals.

The quantity of californium 252 required and the cost to treat a single photograph are quite small. However, in routine repetitive use, the quantity could be sufficient to require strict radioactivity precautions and recycle of the radio­ isotope. Solutions of californium require costly radiological protection, but it should become possible to duplicate the process without californium when neutron sources of higher intensity become more generally available. This is because photographs toned with uranium or boron give rise to densely ionising radiation when irradiated with neutrons and might be used in exactly the same manner as with photographs toned with californium to produce intaglio images. Radiological protection would be much simpler in the case of photographs toned with uranium or boron because the radioactive materials present in an unsealed state are very short-lived. The industrial possibilities of this process are being assessed.


Above: Jarrali sleeper under active iermite attack on the railway between Mt Newman and Pt Hedland, Wes­ tern Australia. Knuckles of hand in

foreground indicate size. (Photo: Mt Newman Mining Co. Ptv Ltd.)

Below: Experimental rig in the Isotope Division used for conversion of carbon dioxide to benzene for final assay of carbon protein content in ground

water samples.




The increasing use of radiation in Australia for the sterilisation of heat- sensitive medical supplies has led to an increasing interest in its possible application for the sterilisation of pharmaceuticals. As with other methods, the problem is primarily one of ensuring adequate destruction of micro-organisms with minimum

effect on the product. Commission research is concerned with the development of combination treatments, such as mild heating or pressurisation followed by irradia­ tion. The effect of different environmental conditions on the radiation resistance of bacteria is being studied to define optimum conditions for ensuring a sterile product with minimum or no quality loss. Using milk as a test system, it has been shown that when bacterial spores are sensitised by compression the subsequent radiation or heat required for sterility can be reduced by two-thirds.

Laboratory Animal Foods In Australia at least 50 institutions have large colonies of conventional laboratory animals. Several laboratories use specific pathogen-free (SPF) animals and a few keep germ-free animals. Because bronchial infections and disease tend to obscure results, some laboratories have recently constructed new animal houses

to be stocked with SPF and germ-free animals. Sterilisation of the animals’ feed with gamma-radiation, presently used by a few of these laboratories, is being considered as the method of choice in several planned laboratories.

Demand is already some 20 tonnes a week and will increase substantially, so a study of the sterilising efficiency of gamma-radiation has been made. The Commission has studied the effect of a radiation dose of 2.5 megarads (generally accepted for sterilising pharmaceutical products for human use) on commercial,

pelleted, laboratory animal diets. Samples from four manufacturers contained up to 350,000 viable organisms a gram but this could be reduced to near zero (about one organism in 1,000 tonnes) by the 2.5 megarad dose. Therefore, radiation sterilisation is a feasible method of eliminating bacterial contamination in laboratory animal feeds.


One of the most widely used commercial applications of gamma-radiation is the sterilisation of medical equipment using radiation doses of the order of 2.5-3.0 megarads. To ensure bacterial sterility without damaging the material, strict control is maintained on the radiation dose by attaching a small radiation sensor (dosimeter) to the material. Chemical change produced by radiation in a solution of mixed ceric and cerous sulphates in a glass ampoule is a most accurate dosimeter for this dose range. Traces of impurities affect dosimeter operation and the precautions needed to ensure accuracy previously limited use of the dosimeter to the laboratory. Commission research has shown how to overcome this problem of impurities in the solution.

An instrument has been developed and patented by the Commission to facilitate dose measurement with the ceric-cerous dosimeter. It has greater accuracy and reliability than any previous instrument for dose measurement designed for routine industrial use. The dose is displayed directly in a digital reading (see Plate 4). A prototype to be used in a routine dosimetry calibration service


by companies using gamma-irradiation facilities has proved highly satisfactory. Negotiations for commercial manufacture are in progress.


Satisfactory standards for radiation dosimetry are necessary both for radiation protection and for the provision of radiation services and facilities. To meet these requirements, the Commission has undertaken a development program in conjunc­ tion with the Commonwealth Radiation Laboratory (CRL)*, Melbourne. The Commission provides a working standard for the low energy region and national

and working standards for energies up to those of cobalt 60. For the low energy region, free air chambers have been built and, when intercomparisons with the CRL equivalent are completed, one will be identified as a working standard. For the higher energy region, a prototype aluminium calorimeter and an absolute

graphite cavity chamber have been completed and preliminary calibrations made. For the final standard of absorbed radiation dose, a graphite calorimeter is being built, making use of experience gained with the aluminium version. It is expected that the graphite calorimeter will provide a national standard of absorbed

dose, and a matching graphite chamber will provide a working standard. In these matters the Commission acts as the agent of the National Standards Commission.


Radiation is used to initiate chemical reactions in the polymerisation of monomers or the manufacture of polymers. The Commission has placed emphasis on research in this field because of the wide extent of application and increased interest by Australian industry. Styrene is being studied because it is one of the cheaper monomers available. However, it does not polymerise readily under

irradiation. An investigation is being made of the effect of various additives and process conditions on the polymerisation reaction. In association with the CSIRO Division of Textile Physics, research is being done on the use of radiation for grafting polymers to wool and other textile fibres.

It is possible to modify wool fibres using moderate radiation grafting techniques at normal temperature without the use of swelling solvents. Most previous work has involved gross changes produced by large amounts of grafted polymers and high radiation doses which is unrealistic and uneconomical.

A study is being made of the changes in structure and physical properties of wool fibres produced by small amounts of grafted polymers at low radiation doses to determine whether the technique offers any possibility of improving wool fibre resistance to shrinkage, creasing or soiling.

BIOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS OF RADIATION Radiobiology of Human Cancer A research project began during the year, in conjunction with the Department of Radiotherapy at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, with the long-term object

of improving the ways in which ionising radiation is used in the treatment of cancer. Radiotherapy requires that the radiation used produces the maximum lethal effect in tumour tissue with as little damage as possible to the surrounding normal tissues. This can be facilitated by proper selection of the physical properties of

* Renamed the Australian Radiation Laboratory (ARL) after the end of the period under review.


the radiation beam and by knowledge of the biological properties of the tumour cells (for example, their rate of division, the proportion of non-dividing cells in the tumour and the rate of loss of tumour cells at all stages of any treatment schedule). At any point in such a schedule, previous treatments may alter the radio-sensitivity by affecting movements of cells in or out of the division cycle,

the progression of cells through the cycle, oxygen tension in the tumour (sensitivity increases with oxygen tension), or the immunological responses of the host against the tumour. This study is concerned with these biological properties of tumours.

The relation of these factors to radio-therapeutic treatment schedules can be studied in several ways. The simplest is to grow tumour cells in culture in the laboratory in rapidly increasing numbers (exponential proliferation). However, in most tumours only a small fraction of the cells are in exponential growth; most are in a non-proliferative phase and relatively insensitive to chemotherapy or to radia­ tion. Some tumours grow in cords or nodules whose cores are lacking in oxygen and consequently resistant to radiation. Therefore, the first phase of the study has been to seek ways of growing tumour cells, obtained from biopsy specimens, in a solid form which will be a better model for the original tumour. The several possible ways of doing this are being investigated.

SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS FOR RADIATION DETECTORS Radiation detectors using the properties of silicon and germanium semi­ conductors are used widely in the accurate measurement of radiation. The

detectors have been used extensively in fundamental studies of nuclear reactions produced by particle accelerators or induced by neutrons from reactors. They have enabled also precise classification in energy and intensity of gamma-ray emissions from radioisotopes.

The recent development of advanced low-noise amplifiers has led to silicon detectors being used to measure trace elements by fluorescent X-ray analysis in blood, foodstuffs, the atmospheric environment, etcetera, at levels of one part per million. The ability to observe a broad energy range at very high resolving power permits simultaneous determination of all trace elements by their character­ istic X-ray emission. Very large germanium detectors are used to monitor low- level activities of gamma-ray emitters in the environment.

Despite these many useful applications, detectors made from elemental silicon and germanium have several disadvantages. They must be operated at very low temperatures (near the temperature of liquid nitrogen) and require complicated and cumbersome cooling equipment. They are relatively inefficient for detection of higher energy gamma-rays. In the case of germanium, the so-called “lithium-drifted” type of detector is inherently unstable when warmed to room temperature and must be kept cold always. They are perishable products.

Com pound S em icon d u ctors Ideally, all these difficulties could be overcome by using certain compound semiconductor materials whose electronic structure permits operation at room temperature. Of particular interest are cadmium telluride (CdTe) and gallium arsenide (GaAs).

The development of CdTe has received much attention in the USA, France and the USSR for six years but, because of possibly fundamental limitations of


crystal perfection, only very small detectors of poor resolving power can be made. Despite this, detectors operating at room temperature have been demonstrated as useful for the non-destructive analysis of nuclear fuels and as probes for radio­ isotope uptake measurements in nuclear medicine.

The usefulness of GaAs was demonstrated successfully for the first time during 1970 in Commission work using very pure but also very thin samples (~ 0 .1 mm thick layers) of material developed in the United Kingdom for semi­ conductor microwave oscillators. To improve further the quality and thickness of

the material, the Commission began in 1971 a small project for growing GaAs. It has been found possible to grow layers ten times the thickness of the first ones, but further development is required to attain adequate purity.

In summary, compound semiconductor materials offer very real practical advantages for radiation detectors and could open the way to many industrial applications at present not feasible with detectors requiring cooling. However, the technological problems are still formidable in growing large, perfect crystals with

suitable electrical characteristics. (See Plate 1.)

Quality G erm anium Crystals Concurrently, with research into compound semiconductors, the Commission has a continuing project to grow high-quality germanium crystals for gamma-ray detectors. The aim is firstly to produce standard crystals of germanium for

lithium-drift detectors, particularly since crystals from commercial sources are costly (about $3,000 per kilogram) and of uncertain quality. Secondly, it is hoped to grow ultra-high-purity crystals with impurity levels a thousand times less than in standard crystals. This would require reduction of the concentration of electric­

ally active impurities in the germanium to less than one part in a million million. The availability of this material is of particular interest since detectors from ultra-pure Ge are “non-perishable”, unlike the unstable lithium-drift germanium detectors. Nevertheless, ultra-pure germanium detectors must still be cooled

during operation, although they need not be stored at low temperatures. This opens the possibility for applications where portable detectors are required.

During the year, 30 germanium crystals have been grown and their physical and electrical properties assessed. Several experimental lithium-drift germanium detectors have been made. Much effort has been applied to design and con­ struction of a horizontal zone refining machine which will eventually supply

ultra-pure base material for germanium crystals.


Total net sales of radioactive materials produced by the Commission between March 1972 and March 1973 amounted to $621,200, an increase of 53% over the previous year. The number of deliveries at 19,181 was 56% larger, in spite of the increasing use of multi-unit packages which would tend to reduce the

shipment numbers. Table 2 and the graphs show the quantities and the distribution pattern.

The outstanding feature of the supply statistics was the substantial increase in the net sales value of radiopharmaceuticals (47%) despite a reduction in the figures for fluorine 18, production of which was discontinued late in 1972.


Above left: Adjusting the shaft-seal assembly of a horizontal furnace for growth of high-purity gallium arsenide. This compound semiconductor is

used in the development of nuclear radiation detectors.

Above right: Remote handling cell used in the production of the radio­ nuclide technetium 99m.

Left: In the Pharmaceutical and Chemical Products Section, a gamma spectrometer is used to determine the radioisotopic purity of radiopharma­ ceuticals. Operating the equipment is Mr Bob Kadarhman. a Colombo Plan Fellow from the Bandung Reactor Centre, Indonesia, who is on a years

attachment to Lucas Heights.


The Australian pattern of increasing use of short-lived radiopharmaceuticals, which are becoming increasingly important for diagnostic use in medicine, matches overseas trends, particularly in North America where the United Spates Atomic Energy Commission reported a demand increase of approximately 25% for 1972

and predicted a sevenfold increase in the requirement for short-lived radio­ pharmaceuticals for the current decade. Five different radiopharmaceuficals (Table 1), based on technetium 99m (half-life 6 hours), are delivered daily to 28 hospitals or clinics in all capital cities, Launceston and Newcastle. The products are in a ready-to-inject, sterile, pyrogen- free, standardised and chemically and radiochemically pure form. Several other

short-lived products are delivered less frequently. The radiopharmaceuticals are generally used in conjunction with scanners and gamma-cameras for static and dynamic visualisation of the organs and their functions.

New nuclear medical centres are planned for the near future including some in large country towns. Further substantial increases in demand are forecast owing to the increasing number of centres, their increased capacity due to improved instrumentation, and the increasing range of diagnostic applications arising mainly

from the Commission’s research in co-operation with research laboratories at major hospitals. The first four products listed in Table 1 were developed to their present form by this co-operative research. Export sales almost doubled owing to increased sales of cobalt 60 teletherapy

sources. A small but regular market for iridium 192 industrial radiography sources was established in Flong Kong and the export of radiography sources to New Zealand, Papua-New Guinea and Singapore remained steady. The total sales value of radioisotopes produced by the Commission since

production began in 1961 is shown in Table 3. Almost half the total value of $2,384,200 represents production in the past two years. A total of 4,135 shipments of radioactive materials was approved by the Com­ mission for importation into Australia during the year. Up to 30 June, approxi­

mately $27,000 of molybdenum 99 was imported by the Commission as raw material for the manufacture of radiopharmaceuticals and technetium 99m gene­ rators during the prolonged maintenance shutdown of the reactor HIFAR at the

end of the period under review. The rising demand for radioisotope products has put a significant pressure on the production organisation at the Research Establishment. The Commission has met the many-fold rise in demand over the past five years with only a

fractional increase in Isotope Division staff. Increasing experience has made this possible together with a streamlining of production procedures, increased batch sizes, and introduction of a night shift. New laboratories being commissioned


!li,mTc Radiopharmaceuticals Produced

Technetium polyphosphate (“Skeltec”) Technetium sulphide colloid Technetium gluconate complex Technetium-labelled macroaggregated ferrous

Organ of Principal Diagnostic Use

Bone Liver Kidney Lung

hydroxide (MAFH) Sodium pertechnefate solution Brain


will double the space available. Emphasis has been placed on two distinct types of radioactive products — radiochemical compounds and sealed radiation sources.

Co-operation with other O rganisations

Valuable co-operation in the assessment of new or improved products has been received from the University of NSW (Prince of Wales Hospital), the Univer­ sity of Sydney (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital), Royal Perth Hospital, the Com­ monwealth Department of Health through the Commonwealth Radiation Laboratory, the National Biological Standards Laboratory, the CS1RO Division of Animal Physiology and the Defence Standards Laboratories. The assistance of the Department of Health and the hospitals is essential when new radiopharma­ ceuticals reach the clinical testing stage.

The Head of the Commission’s Pharmaceutical and Chemical Products Section was invited by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organisation to participate in a symposium on new developments in radiopharmaceuticals and labelled compounds held in Copenhagen in March

1973, and also to serve on an IAEA consultants panel which met after the symposium.

PRODUCT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT Radiopharmaceuticals from Freeze-dried R eagents

A means of providing for the rapidly increasing demand for diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals is being sought in the development of freeze-dried (lyophilised) reagents. Each of these compounds rapidly and reliably forms a radiopharmaceutical of specific biological properties when the basic form of the radionuclide is added. It is possible to provide each hospital with a long-lived source of technetium 99m in solution (a technetium generator) or with regular supplies of separated technetium 99m in solution, together with a variety of sterile ampoules containing non-radioactive chemicals. Addition of the technetium 99m solution to an ampoule, usually with no further chemical processing, provides an organ-specific radiopharmaceutical. Since the lyophilised chemical

reagents are non-radioactive, they could be made in bulk by a pharmaceutical manufacturer and, since they are dry and under vacuum once prepared, can be stored for long periods until required.

Research at Lucas Heights has resulted in development of the following reagents:

(i) Kidney-scanning lyophilised reagent, already proved effective in clinical trials for human use. This reagent is now widely used.

(ii) Lung-scanning lyophilised reagent, proved successful on animals, and to be subject to clinical trials in the near future.

(iii) Liver-scanning lyophilised reagent, effective on animals, but yet to be tested for human use.

(iv) Improved brain-scanning lyophilised reagent, already proved effective in clinical trials.

(v) Skeleton-scanning lyophilised reagent, only partially successful on animals. Various formulations are being examined.


K id n e y T r a n s p l a n t D y n a m ic S tu d ie s — ( A ) N o r m a l S e r ie s (B ) A b n o r m a l S e r ie s .

(A) Dynamic gamma camera scans showing iliac artery (main artery to leg) with well-perfused transplanted kidney overlaying it. Two minutes after injection, the transplant is excreting the radiopharmaceutical in the urine with some appearing in the bladder. After one hour a large amount of radiopharmaceutical is shown in the bladder indicating a well-defined transplant.

(B) Iliac vessels are clearly shown in dynamic study of transplant rejection. In the second scan, the transplanted kidney is seen to be poorly perfused; in this case as a result of an active rejection process. After two hours, the transplant is faintly outlined with no evidence of excretion of urine to the bladder.

T h y r o i d G l a n d S tu d ie s

(A) Rectilinear scan of normal thyroid gland using the radiopharmaceutical technetium 99m sodium pertechnetate. (B) Scan of abnormal thyroid gland showing the radioactivity accumulating solely in the right lobe.

L iv e r S tu d ie s (A) Gamma camera scan of anterior view of a normal liver following injection to patient of technetium 99m sulphide colloid. (B) Anterior view of liver in a patient showing numerous defects in radiopharmaceutical

up-take throughout both lobes indicating secondary tumours. (C) Gamma camera scan of the liver of a patient showing defects which later proved to be hydatid cysts. 7 9

D y n a m ic C e r e b r a l V a s c u l a r S tu d y

(A) Dynamic gamma camera scans taken at three second intervals showing normal cerebral vascular behaviour. (B) Dynamic scans showing stenosed left internal artery with bilateral delay in middle cerebral artery filling, indicating advanced cerebrovascular disease.

An te ri o r


C e r e b r a l A b s c e s s Three weeks after a young patient received a penetrating wound to the right parietal area, gamma camera brain scans revealed a large right parietal “halo" abnormality which represented a cerebral abscess.


B o n e S c a n n in g (A) Gamma camera scan of normal spine following injection to patient of “Skeltec”, a bone­ seeking radiopharmaceutical developed at Lucas Heights.

(B) Scan showing abnormal areas of up-take of “Skeltec” indicating the presence of tumours.

(Scans appearing on pages 79, 80 and 81 by courtesy of the Departments of Nuclear Medicine at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and at Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales.)

T ech n etium 9 9 m gen era to r s Technetium 99m generators conveniently supply the radionuclide for medical use when transport times are excessive for ready-to-use products or when the user needs his own regular supply. Their significance and value will increase greatly with the increasing availability of freeze-dried reagents.

The generators contain the longer-lived radioisotope molybdenum 99 (half­ life 67 hours) bound on an aluminium oxide column and continuously produce soluble technetium 99m for about one week. The technetium 99m is obtained, when required, by passing a small volume of medical saline solution through the

column. For most effective use, they must produce technetium 99m solutions in the highest possible concentration and at the highest efficiency of extraction. To achieve this efficiency, it is necessary to produce generators with small columns containing large activities of molybdenum 99. Unfortunately, the intense radio­

activity of a concentrated generator containing more than 300 millicuries of molybdenum 99 produces chemical changes which greatly reduce efficiency. Research has shown that this effect can be greatly reduced by a chemical treatment of the generator. Generators operating at 100% efficiency at 400 mCi have been

produced and the largest generator regularly available from the Commission contains more than 2,000 mCi of molybdenum 99. Performance and activity is superior to that of any generators the Com­ mission has been able to purchase from overseas for comparison purposes.

Regular availability of high-performance generators should provide opportunities for export markets in nearby countries which are just beyond the range for effective supply of ready-to-use technetium 99m radiopharmaceuticals.

N ew Industrial Radiography Source Ytterbium 169, with a relatively soft gamma-radiation, has been shown to be useful in the radiography of light alloys, thin sections of steel, and timber. Such a radiation source has not been available previously, the commonly used

iridium 192 and cobalt 60 being effective only for much denser materials and heavier sections. There are some problems in the production of ytterbium 169 sources by neutron irradiation in a reactor because ytterbium readily absorbs neutrons.

However, optimum conditions have been demonstrated and sources of sufficient intensity for effective industrial use can be made.




USE AND TYPE SHIPMENTS ACTIVITY VALUE $ WITHIN AUSTRALIA Industrial Radiography sources 210 3,816 Ci 35,000

Sealed sources 58 6,454 mCi 4,100

Miscellaneous 18 19,548 mCi 1,600

Total for industrial use 286 40,700

Non-Medical Research Cobalt 60 irradiation sources 3 15,400 Ci 12,600

Neutron irradiations 159 5,300

Solutions, etc. 1,481 7,104 mCi 9,300

Total for research use 1,643 27,200

Medical Radioisotope implants 92 7,857 mCi 3,500

Miscellaneous solutions 807 8,174 mCi 12,200

Fluorine 18 491 3,231 mCi 44,100

Iodine 131 340 64,015 mCi 22,900

Technetium 99m solutions for diagnosis 15,062 581,577 mCi 335,500

Molybdenum 99 solution and generators 370 157,565 mCi 33,000

Cobalt 60 teletherapy sources 3 13,567 Ci 57,200

Total for medical use 17,165 508,400

EXPORT Radiography sources 24 842 Ci 6,400

Miscellaneous for research 19 6,190 mCi 1,500

Solutions and implants for medical use 42 7,490 mCi 4,200

Cobalt 60 teletherapy sources** 2 7,593 Ci 32,800

Total for export 87 44,900

Total AAEC production 19,181 621,200

* Both sources to New Zealand.



C obalt 60 for Industrial an d T otal of All O ther Grand Total

Y ear R adiotherapy Scientific Products


____ $ $ ____ $ $

Total to March 1972 437,000 108,500 1,217,500 1,763,000

Total for 1972-1973 90,000 12,600 518,600 621,200

Total to 31 March 1973 527,000 121,000 1,736,100 2,384,200


$500,00031 March

31 March 1



$400 000------- ( NOTE: V A L U E S E X C L U DE L A R GE ' C O B A L T 6 0 I R R A D I A T I O N A N D

T E L E T H E R A P Y S O U R C E S )


$ 200, 000


----------------------------- TOT AL S A L E S V A L UE

.............................. T OT A L N O N MEDI CAL

..................................... I NDUS T R I A L

R E S E A R C H TOTAL ME DI CA L (i n c l u d i n g e x p o r t s ) TOTAL E X P O R T S ( i n c l u d i n g me d i c a l )

2 0 , 0 0 0






1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973



The Commission’s Research Establishment at Lucas Heights, about 30 km south of Sydney, is the major centre for atomic energy research in Australia. Since construction began in 1955, capital investment has exceeded $35 million. A staff of more than 1,100 is largely engaged in a research program in nuclear science and technology. This research has enabled the Commission to keep abreast of overseas developments in the peaceful applications of atomic energy, to build up competence in atomic energy matters of importance to Australia, and to bring direct benefits to the community through its research in many areas. A list of current Commission research projects is given in Appendix D.

Through its research and development programs on atomic energy, valuable facilities and competence have been built up which could be used to solve problems in other fields. Requests for assistance are increasing and the Com­ mission proposes to meet requests consistent with its primary objectives and approved policies.

ENGINEERING SERVICES AND OPERATIONS Operations Division provides engineering support to the research divisions. It operates the reactor HILAR (High Flux Australian Reactor), designs and manufactures experimental equipment, provides and maintains buildings, operates

services and facilities, and collects, treats and disposes of radioactive waste.

Reactor Operations HIFAR, the Commission’s main research reactor, provides an intense source of neutrons for the production of radioisotopes and for nuclear research in metallurgy, solid state physics and chemistry. HIFAR is moderated and cooled by heavy water, and is designed to produce a maximum thermal flux of 1014 neutrons per square centimetre per second at a heat output from the core of 10 megawatts

(thermal). Operation is continuous except for regular refuelling and routine main­ tenance.

A major shutdown began in May 1973 to complete major maintenance pro­ grams. Work scheduled on the reactor includes a thorough examination of the inner surface of the aluminium reactor tank and welded components, and a com­ plete overhaul and examination of the heavy-water circuit valves and associated pipework as well as the light-water and shield-cooling circuits. Flow straighteners


Effluent treatment plant at Lucas Heights. A solar evaporator, located between the two rows of storage tanks, is used to reduce the volume of low-level effluent. Most liquid waste requiring treatment at Lucas Heights is of low activity.

are being fitted in the nozzles in which the fuel elements sit, to modify the flow of coolant and to reduce the vibration believed to be the cause of failure of three experimental rigs and of structural damage to some fuel elements. After 14 years of safe operations, a major review of the safety of HIFAR

was completed in August 1972 by a working party of engineers and scientists. As a result of this review, certain modifications will be undertaken to ensure com­ pliance with latest safety practices.

Engineering S erv ices Much experimental equipment which cannot be purchased normally is manufactured at the Research Establishment. This involves investigation, design, cost estimation, tender assessment, contract supervision, manufacture, testing and

inspection, acceptance and commissioning. Work demanding a significant design or contractual effort is handled on a project basis under a project engineer. Typical projects were the design of a small chemical plant for producing uranium

hexafluoride, remote handling cells for radioisotope production, design of con­ tainers for transporting radioactive materials, and a high-pressure water loop for installation in HIFAR for materials research.

Works A total of $693,000 was spent on planning, design and supervision of new buildings and facilities, extension of buildings and services, and maintenance of buildings and services, roads, gardens and grounds. The isotope production build­

ing was extended to provide additional facilities for packing and despatching radio­ pharmaceuticals and industrial radioisotopes.

S ite O perations A wide range of services and plant is provided, including: • A service for radioactive and toxic waste management. • Silent hours supervision of operations, support to the safety system, and

supervision of unattended operating experimental equipment on behalf of research divisions. • Installation and maintenance of plant and equipment. • Decontamination, carpentry and painting services. • Supply and distribution of water, electricity, high-pressure hot water and

compressed air. The amounts of radioactivity discharged in effluents were less than those agreed with the New South Wales State authorities and set down in discharge authorisations. No solid radioactive waste left the Research Establishment and the


major fraction was compacted to reduce the space needed for its storage on site. Waste management practices were kept under review and the solar evaporation capacity was increased. During the period, the on-site reserve of water was increased by 200,000 gallons and improvements were made to the emergency power supply system.

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES The Administration Division provides management and supply personnel and services, together with printing, storekeeping, cleaning, gardening and transport facilities. It also provides divisional administration officers and clerical and typing support services to the other divisions.

Administration Division faces many problems of procurement of special materials and services for the research divisions. At the same time, the Division is concerned with the sale of radioisotopes and radiation services, and with the transportation of products for delivery, to a precise timetable, to local medical centres and by air to interstate centres.

COMPUTING NETWORKS AND SERVICES The major use of computers at Lucas Heights is to study nuclear reactor systems. Large programs called nuclear codes are used to simulate the operation of a reactor over a period of time. These codes have been developed mainly overseas, but some of a relatively high degree of sophistication have been developed by the Commission.

In addition to providing normal scientific batch computing services, a novel and powerful computer network is being developed by the Commission to meet the wide range of computing needs of scientists and engineers working in many disciplines.

Central C om puter S y ste m Computing at the Commission’s Research Establishment ranges from the solution of complex scientific problems to the development and maintenance of computer operating systems. A central system based on an IBM 360/50G com­ puter with an additional 1,024K bytes of AMPEX mainframe memory provides the main facilities. A number of minicomputers within a kilometre radius of the central computer are used to control experiments and support computer terminals in different laboratories.

Minicomputer Applications More than 20 minicomputers were used during the year in experiments associ­ ated with mass spectrometers, gamma-ray spectrometers, a 3 million electron volt Van de Graaff accelerator, neutron diffractometers, a. triple-axis spectrometer, an X-ray diffractometer and other data acquisition systems. The programs required

to control these experiments and most of the equipment to interface the computers to the different experiments have been developed by the Commission. A DGC NOVA computer in the computer building runs the Commission-developed ACL- NOVA system which supports a number of terminals.

Com puter Network A computer network is being set up to allow the different computers to be linked together, as well as to have access to the IBM360. In the first stage, a DEC


Right: A PDP15 computer which is linked, through the A A EC Dataway system, to the IBM360 central computer. The Physics Division uses the PDP15 to gain prompt, on-line analysis of experimental data by

the central computer.

Below: An operator using the AAEC Data­ way system to display IBM360 output at the Tektronix terminal attached to a NOVA computer.


PDP9L in the computer building was attached to a selector channel of the IBM360 via a Commission-designed and DEC-built interface. The second stage of the network involved development of the AAEC Dataway, incorporating a high- capacity cable which allows any pair of computers to communicate with each other. Three computers have been connected to the Dataway — the NOVA and PDP9L, and a DEC PDP15 a kilometre away.

The PDP9L acts as a “telephone exchange” for all Dataway communication with the IBM360 and special programs allow it to control all network communica­ tions. Special programs have also been developed for the IBM360 computer to handle Dataway communications.

As more computers and terminals are added to the Commission network, on-line control computers can call on the resources of the IBM360 and more powerful interactive computing facilities can be made available.


Control of radiological and industrial safety was maintained through the operation of a thorough safety surveillance system. No serious accidents occurred. The services instrumental in achieving a high standard of safety are:

• Advice and services from health physicists and surveyors in all areas where ionising radiation and radioactive materials are used.

• A personnel dosimetry service which assesses exposure of staff to radiation. External exposure is monitored by film badges and special thermo­ luminescent dosimeters. Internal exposure is measured by analysis of urine samples and by gamma spectrometry in a whole-body monitor.

• Investigation of any radiation exposure above average levels.

• Prior safety assessment of all experiments and other projects that involve potentially hazardous materials or operations.

• Regular monitoring of effluent discharges to ensure they are within limits agreed to by the New South Wales Radiological Advisory Council.

• Prior approval of work with fissile materials.

• A safety training program.

• A formal system of accident reporting followed by investigation of causes and preventive measures.

A site emergency office is manned continuously and receives alarm signals from monitoring equipment in buildings and facilities. Senior staff are on call as safety co-ordinators to control any emergency.


The Research Establishment has the major atomic energy library in Australia. It co-operates with international atomic energy information systems by selecting and transmitting Australian information on nuclear science and allied subjects. In return, the Commission receives computer-processed nuclear information from other co-operating countries. An experimental service is in operation to select information from the large in-flow and make it available to individual scientists, according to a profile of their needs and interests.


RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS The Commission’s research results are published in international journals and the proceedings of conferences. In addition, the Commission publishes a large number of reports on its research work. Publications of the staff for the past

year are listed in Appendix G. The Research Establishment has an editorial section to assist scientists and engineers and to maintain liaison with scientific journals.

ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY The research program produces a strong demand for analytical chemistry services. New and improved methods have been developed to increase efficiency in routine chemical analysis and to solve particular problems. Examples of

elements and techniques involved over the past year are:

• Iodine 129 in sea-water by solvent extraction and liquid scintillation counting.

• Bismuth and tin in sea-water and marine samples at the sub-parts per billion level (10®) by anodic stripping voltammetry.

• Long-chain amines by fluorimetry down to four parts per billion (10°) in aqueous solution.

• Thorium in titanium and zirconium concentrates by spectrophotometry after removal of impurities by solvent extraction.

• Comparison of uranium analyses by fluorimetry and delayed neutron activation analysis in conjunction with Physics Division.

• Rapid analysis of stainless steel by direct reading spectrometry.

NUCLEAR INSTRUMENTATION Research in atomic energy requires an extensive range of electronic and nucleonic instruments to measure and control operations. The Commission designs and develops equipment for its own purposes where the instrumentation

is not available commercially.

Requirements fall into two general categories. The first involves instrument designs which may be manufactured by industry in some quantity and may have commercial potential. A megarad dosimeter (see Chapter 6 and Plate 4), an instrument for measuring high radiation doses, has special design interest through

the novel use of analogue computing circuits to give an instantaneous solution to the complex relationship between input voltage and total dose. A pocket health survey meter is designed for local requirements with a measuring range of from one-tenth of a millirem to 1,000 millirem without range switching and featuring

long battery life.

In the second category are the special requirements of various experiments and projects. For example, a safety interlock system was designed for the GATRI irradiation cell to provide complete versatility for a range of operations while ensuring complete protection of the operators under all situations. High-power, high-frequency solid state power supplies were developed for centrifuge machines,

and a high-power beam pulsing system was developed for the 3 MeV proton accelerator.


The noise analysis laboratory in the Engineering Research Division at Lucas Heights, where the signals that arise in various experimental situations can be examined in both the time and frequency domains.

FABRICATION OF REACTIVE AND TOXIC MATERIALS The Research Establishment has facilities for the fabrication of difficult materials. Considerable experience has been built up in this field through work on nuclear materials such as uranium, uranium dioxide, zirconium alloys, beryllium and beryllium oxide. The properties that introduce difficulty are brittle­ ness, high melting temperature, extreme chemical reactivity, radiological hazard and high toxicity. One or more of these may apply in a particular material.

Although most of the fabrication work is carried out to produce materials for the Commission’s own research program, the facilities and expertise are available to outside organisations. Requests are often met from universities and other research organisations for fabrication of components from uranium, beryl­ lium or zirconium. Beryllium windows up to 75 millimetres in diameter and 0.1 of a millimetre thick have been made for use in X-ray machines and gamma-ray detectors. Some beryllium windows have been made for equipment used in on­ stream analysis work.

Depleted uranium has been cast and machined for special gamma-ray collimators. Zirconium and other alloys have been fabricated for universities holding research contracts with the Commission.


Most engineering, physical, chemical and biological systems exhibit some form of noise-like behaviour in that they tend to fluctuate about a nominal steady level. The recording, analysis and interpretation of these fluctuations is known as


noise analysis and often can lead to greater insight into the process under study, and may even be used as an early diagnosis of incipient failure.

The Commission has set up a noise analysis laboratory. Its instrumentation can be used to analyse signals in the frequency range 0 to 300 kilohertz and can present results in the form of graphs, cathode-ray tube displays or computer tapes. By interfacing a high speed digital computer to the noise equipment, it is possible to make a routine analysis of transient signals (e.g., speech recognition, pulsating

flow, and heart beats).

The laboratory has been used mainly to analyse signals from temperature, acoustic, vibration and flow sensors. Nuclear fission itself is fundamentally a random process; the analysis of fluctuations in neutron population, detected by standard nuclear instruments, can yield essential information about reactor


The special nature of the laboratory and expertise of the staff have been called upon to help solve problems for industrial and research organisations. For example, acoustic signals emitted in a steel making process may indicate critical operational conditions in the oxidation phase. An analysis of recorded signals

disclosed a previously unobserved fact that the frequency spectrum of the acoustic signals changed as the oxidation process proceeded. Correlation of this information with plant operation is being attempted.

Noise analysis was used in conjunction with an experiment by the Common­ wealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. CSIRO was interested in describing the surface finish of machined surfaces in terms of size and distribution of the mechanical irregularities of the surface. A noise analysis study carried out

by the Commission showed it to be a very suitable tool.

NEUTRON ACTIVATION ANALYSIS Neutron activation analysis (NAA) has been used to analyse for mercury at levels below ten parts per million in shark flesh as part of a collaborative survey for the Victorian Department of Health. Iron and copper in proteins have been

analysed at the one part per million level for the Waite Institute of South Australia. The Commission also is collaborating with the CSIRO on methods for geochemical prospecting for nickel, by detecting small amounts of rare-earth elements in surface deposits associated with deep nickel deposits.

The Commission is engaged in forensic analysis through the attachment to its Research Establishment of an officer of the Commonwealth Police Force to use the NAA and radiochemical facilities at Lucas Heights.

Delayed Neutron A nalysis of Uranium Ores Uranium 235 is unique among the naturally occurring elements in that it is fissioned by thermal neutrons. One of the consequences of this fissioning process is that a small fraction of the fission products has sufficient energy to decay by

neutron emission at times significantly later than the fission event. These delayed neutron emitters have been used to measure the uranium 235 content of geological samples by measuring the neutron activity of the sample after a short irradiation in a reactor.

The matrix and physical form of the sample do not influence the measure­ ments; furthermore, the technique has the advantages of being non-destructive, the measurements can be repeated, and a high specific sensitivity is attainable. In one


hour, 50 samples with uranium contents as small as one-tenth of a microgram in two cubic centimetres can be measured with an accuracy of a few percent. The method has commercial potential as the cost compares favourably with conven­ tional chemical analysis, particularly with a large throughput of samples.

Investigations are in progress to extend the method for use in the analysis of environmental water samples containing uranium, the goal being levels of ten million millionths of a gram per litre.

NEUTRON RADIOGRAPHY Neutron radiography using neutron beams from research reactors has been investigated in a number of countries. Neutron radiography is complementary to conventional X-radiography and its particular advantages can be used for:

• Detection of hydrogen in metals.

• Radiography of irradiated nuclear fuel.

• Differentiation of certain elements whose atomic numbers are close together (e.g., boron and aluminium).

• Examination of thin sections of light material behind thick layers of heavy material (e.g., thin plastic sheet behind mild steel plate).

• Special technical applications in nuclear research.

The radiography of highly radioactive components and the detection of hydrogen in zirconium alloy fuel cladding are of immediate interest to the Com­ mission’s research program. The Commission intends to establish neutron radiography facilities.

Other organisations could have applications for this technique if established as a readily available non-destructive testing method. At present, the technique is only available in association with a nuclear reactor. Wide application in industry would require the development of high flux portable neutron sources.

NEUTRON DIFFRACTION The Commission maintains a small group who, in collaboration with staff of the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE), use neutron beams from the reactor HIFAR for a wide range of neutron scattering studies of materials in the solid state. The major part of the Commission’s efforts in this field concerns inelastic neutron scattering, a technique which explores the vibrations of the atoms in solids using a triple axis spectrometer designed and manufactured in Australia.

GAMMA IRRADIATION A marked down-turn in demand for the Commission’s gamma-irradiation services was due, in part, to the opening of a commercial gamma-irradiation plant in Sydney by Johnson and Johnson Pty Ltd. This company was previously a Commission client for the sterilisation of medical supplies. A marked reduction occurred also in the number of university Ph.D. candidates working in radiation chemistry research and using Commission facilities under the auspices of AINSE.


The Gamma Technology Research Irradiator (GATRI) which uses a large cobalt 60 irradiation source was used continuously by ICI Australia Ltd and Commission staff for research and development in radiation chemistry.

ELECTRON BEAM IRRADIATION Pulsed electron radiation from the Commission’s 1.3 million electron volt Van de Graaff accelerator has been in demand by both Commission and university research staff. The radiation is used in studies of the kinetics and mechanisms of

reactions in aqueous and liquid organic solutions. A Febetron 706, an instrument which delivers single pulses of electrons only and is owned by A1NSE, supple­ mented the accelerator for study of fast transients in the gas phase. Each pulse of three nanoseconds duration delivers a surface dose of four megarads of electrons

with energies of up to 600,000 volts.




SAFEGUARDS AND THE NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY Australia ratified the Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons on 23 January 1973. The Treaty requires that Australia conclude an Agree­ ment with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to apply safeguards to verify that Australia is fulfilling its obligations assumed under the Treaty. The Safeguards Agreement is required by the Treaty to enter into force within 18 months after the initiation of negotiations with the Agency.

Australia began negotiations with the Agency on the Safeguards Agreement just prior to ratification in January and these negotiations are proceeding. The Safeguards Agreement between Australia and the Agency will be based on the Agency document INFCIRC/153 (1971), “The Structure and Content of Agree­ ments between the Agency and States Required in Connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” which was formulated by the Safe­ guards Committee set up by the IAEA in 1970 and which, in turn, was adopted by a special meeting of the Agency’s Board of Governors on 20 April 1971. The use of this “model agreement” is designed to ensure the development of a uniform system of safeguards for application by the Agency under the Non­ Proliferation Treaty.

The Commission has assisted the Department of Foreign Affairs in analyses and negotiations directed to the eventual conclusion of an NPT Safeguards Agree­ ment. The Commission is also working with other departments concerned to delineate the detailed arrangements subsidiary to the Agreement, which must be agreed with the Agency for safeguarding nuclear materials in Australia.

Unrefined nuclear material, such as ores containing uranium and thorium and mineral concentrates produced from the processing of such ores, are not safeguardable within Australia, but Australia has an obligation under the NPT to notify the Agency of any exports of nuclear material, including such concen­ trates, to a non-nuclear-weapon state, and to require that such nuclear material be subjected to safeguards procedures in the importing country. If the importing country is a party to the NPT, Agency safeguards procedures will be applied

under that country’s NPT Safeguards Agreement. In the case of an export to a non-nuclear-weapon state not party to the NPT, arrangements have to be made between Australia, the importing country and the IAEA to have safeguards applied


to meet Australia’s NPT obligations. The Statute of the IAEA requires that there be an agreement between the two countries, if no other suitable agreement is available, before the Agency can apply safeguards. For example, Australia and Japan have such an Agreement for Co-operation, signed in Canberra on 21 February 1972, and from it a Safeguards Transfer Agreement with the IAEA whereby the Agency undertakes safeguards in Japan on nuclear materials imported from Australia under the Agreement for Co-operation.

ASSOCIATION FOR CENTRIFUGE ENRICHMENT In late 1972, the Commission was invited by URENCO Ltd, on behalf of the Tripartite Organisation for the Centrifuge Enrichment of Uranium (Treaty of Almelo, 1970, between the Netherlands, Germany and the UK), to join a new

international organisation — the Association for Centrifuge Enrichment (ACE) —■ being formed to assess the technical and economic suitability of the centrifuge process. The Minister for Minerals and Energy approved the Commission joining

ACE at its first board meeting held at Eton, UK, on 1 June 1973.

INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY The Chairman of the Commission, Mr R. W. Boswell, was appointed Governor for Australia and led the Australian delegation to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 16th General Conference held in Mexico City in Septem­ ber 1972. Mr M. C. Timbs, then Executive Member of the Commission, was a

member of the delegation. Mr Boswell attended meetings of the Board of Governors in Vienna in June and September 1972 and in June 1973.

Dr A. R. W. Wilson, Acting Chief, International and Technical Policy Division, participated in November 1972 in the third meeting in Vienna of an IAEA panel of experts on the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Explosions. As for previous meetings of this panel, Dr Wilson was the chairman. In October, 1972,

Dr R. K. Warner, Chief, Nuclear Technology Division, attended a meeting of a joint IAEA/NEA-OECD Working Party on Uranium Resources, held in Paris.

Mr J. S. Watt, Head, Isotope Applications Research Section, in August 1972 presented an invited paper at a Symposium on the Use of Nuclear Techniques in the Basic Metal Industries, held at Helsinki.

In November 1972, in Vienna, Dr J. W. Boldeman, Leader, Neutron Data Group, Physics Division, participated in a Panel on Neutron Standard Reference Data.

At a Symposium on Irradiation Facilities for Research Reactors, held in Teheran in November 1972, Mr R. S. McAneny, Leader, Rig Group, Operations Division, presented a paper. Also in November, Mr H. W. Groenewegen, then Librarian, attended a meeting of the International Nuclear Information Service

(INIS) Advisory Committee in Vienna. Miss P. A. Wills, Leader, Biological Systems Group, Isotope Division, presented a paper in Bombay at a Symposium on Radiation Preservation of Food.

Mr R. E. Boyd, Head, Pharmaceutical and Chemical Products Section, pre­ sented an invited paper at a Symposium on New Developments in Radiopharma­ ceuticals and Labelled Compounds, Copenhagen, March 1973. Mr D. R. Davy, Head, Health Physics Research Section, in May 1973, presented a paper at an



IAEA/W HO/NEA-OECD Symposium on Environmental Behaviour of Radionu­ clides Released in the Nuclear Industry, held at Aix-en-Provence, France. In May-June 1973, Mr M. R. Middleton, Information Officer, was attached to the INIS Section in Vienna. During this period he attended a Consultative Meeting of Specialists Using INIS Output Tapes and an Indexing Seminar for Retrieval, presenting a paper at the former. Also in June, in Vienna, Mr R. M. Fry, International and Technical Policy Division, served as chairman of a panel of experts to examine the IAEA’s responsibilities under the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Offier Matter.

A p p o in tm e n ts to IA E A P o s itio n s

In March 1973, Mr P. A. Bonhote, Leader, Waste Management Group, took up a two-year posting in the Agency’s Division of Nuclear Safety and Environmental Protection. Mr J. Bardsley, an Experimental Officer in Materials Division, has accepted a two-year appointment in the Agency’s Division of Opera­

tions, Department of Safeguards and Inspection. Mr A. J. Moulding, Director of Finance, took up a position in March 1973 for two years in the Agency’s Expenditure Control Unit, Division of Budget and Finance.


In addition to visits to attend meetings connected with the International Atomic Energy Agency, visits by Commissioners and Commission officers included the following.

Mr R. W. Boswell, Chairman of the Commission, visited atomic energy centres in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America in June-July 1972. Mr K. F. Alder, Commissioner for Development, visited the USA, France and Pakistan in November-December 1972. In Washington D.C., he attended the US Atomic Industrial Forum-American Nuclear Society Joint Annual Meeting. In Paris, with Messrs W. J. Wright, J. J. Humphreys, K. S. Turner and I. M. Binns, he supervised arrangements for the final stages of the joint enrichment study with Fiance. On 2 December, in Pakistan, Mr Alder attended the official opening of the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant.

The then Executive Commissioner, Mr M. C. Timbs, also attended the joint US Atomic Industrial Forum-American Nuclear Society meeting in Washington and presented a paper in the session on the peaceful applications of nuclear explosives. Together with Dr R. Smith, Acting Deputy Director, Research Establishment, Mr Timbs visited Singapore in July 1972. Mr Timbs and Dr Smith were made avail­ able by the Australian Government in response to a request from the Singapore Government to advise on preparatory steps necessary for the introduction of nuclear power. This assistance was provided as bilateral aid under the Colombo Plan.

Mr D. R. Griffiths, Chief, Nuclear Power Assessment Division, and Mr W. E. T. Cawsey, Atomic Energy Adviser, Australian High Commission, London, represented Australia at the first meeting of a Study Group on the Long Term Role of Nuclear Energy, held in Paris in April 1973. The Study Group was set up by the Nuclear Energy Agency of OECD.

The Chairman of the USSR National Conference on Neutron Physics invited Dr J. W. Boldeman, Leader, Neutron Data Group, Physics Division, to present a paper at the Conference held in Kiev in May-June 1973.


DISTINGUISHED VISITORS TO THE COMMISSION A number of representatives of government bodies, international organisations and overseas companies visited the Commission during the past year. In July 1972, the following representatives from Pechiney Ugine Kuhlmann visited the Commission’s Head Office: Messrs J. J. Baron, B. Cahen, M. Vaucher, F. M. Messud and O. Meffre. The Canadian Deputy High Commissioner, Mr D. B. Browne, and ti.e Canadian Trade Commissioner, Mr W. B. Zyla, visited the Commission in August 1972. Also in August, Dr J. Gingrich of the General

Electric Co., Valiecitos, USA, visited the Commission. Visitors in October 1972 included the following: Professor F. Jellinek, Department of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Groningen, Holland; Dr J. S. Burgess, Deputy Chief, The Radiochemical Centre, Amersham, UK; and Dr J. Buzacotte, Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada.

The following members of the Victorian State Parliament Development Committee also visited the Commission in October: Mr W. F. Stephen, Μ. P. (Chairman), Mr T. W. Templeton, Μ. P., The Honourable A. W. Knight, M.L.C., The Honourable A. R. Mansell, M.L.C., Mr R. J. Wiltshire, M.P., and Mr A. N.

Castle (Secretary).

Visitors during November included Dr Chia Cheng Song, Lecturer in Engineering, University of Singapore, and Mr Tran Dai Taung, Director of Planning for Irradiation Sterilisation of Foodstuffs, Office of the President of South Vietnam.

Dr T. Kamiyama, Director of Raw Materials, Power Reactors and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC), Japan, with Messrs S. Takenaka, S. Aoyagi and T. Yamaguchi, also of PNC, visited the Commission in December 1972.

Visitors in February 1973 included Dr Ariel Tejara, Mexican Nuclear Research Centre; Mr G. Beranek, IAEA Safeguards Inspection Branch; and Mr L. F. Medina Leyva, Mexico City Electricity Undertaking.

In May 1973, Professor Η. H. Jiilich of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Mr O. du Temple, Executive Secretary of the American Nuclear Society, visited the Commission.



CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT AND MINISTERS Following the election of a new Australian Government in December 1972, the Department of National Development was abolished and the Department of Minerals and Energy was created.

The Honourable R. F. X. Connor, M.P., was appointed to the ministry as Minister of State for Minerals and Energy on 18 December 1972 and is the Minister responsible for the administration of the Atomic Energy Act, 1953-66.

Previously the Commission was responsible to the Minister for National Development. The former Minister, the Honourable Sir Reginald Swartz, K.B.E., E.D., M.P., retired from Federal Parliament on 2 December 1972.

COMMISSION MEMBERSHIP In January 1973, Mr L. F. Bott, D.S.C., resigned his appointment as a Commissioner to take up the post of Secretary, Department of Tourism and Recreation. Sir Lenox Hewitt, O.B.E., Secretary, Department of Minerals and Energy, was appointed on 11 January 1973 to fill the vacancy created by Mr Bolt’s resignation.

In February 1973, Mr M. C. Timbs resigned his appointment as Executive Member of the Commission to take up the post of Secretary, Department of Services and Property. Mr Timbs was originally appointed to the Commission as Deputy to the Executive Member on 1 December 1960 and was appointed Executive Member on 24 October 1964.


On the resignation of the Executive Member of the Commission, the Government decided that the office should be abolished and that the Atomic Energy Act should be amended accordingly, i.e. to dispense with the office of Executive Member and to create a Commission consisting of a Chairman, Deputy Chairman and three part-time members. The amending Bill was introduced into

the House of Representatives in April 1973.


TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT Many arbitral determinations were made during the year under review to amend conditions of service and to provide for increased salary rates for various designations in the Commission’s service. The 1973 National Wage Case was implemented in the service of the Commission.

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS The Commission maintained satisfactory relations with the various unions and associations representing its staff during the year. A difficult industrial situation arose from a demarcation type of dispute concerning technical staff between the Association of Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Draftsmen of Australia and the Commonwealth Public Service Association (Fourth Division Officers) concerning rights to represent certain staff; production of medical radio­ active isotopes for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes was threatened at one

stage. As a result, with the approval of the Minister for Minerals and Energy, it was agreed that the Commission should seek an order from the Public Service Arbitrator to settle the matter. The dispute was resolved satisfactorily following a conference called by the Deputy Public Service Arbitrator leading to an agreement

being reached between the Associations concerned.

SENIOR STAFF CHANGES The Commission, with regret, reports the death suddenly in January 1973 of Brigadier T. F. B. MacAdie, C.B.E., D.S.O., whilst serving as Counsellor (Atomic Energy) at the Australian Embassy in Paris. Prior to his appointment in Paris, Brigadier MacAdie was Head of the International Relations Section, Head

Office, joining the Commission after retirement from the Army in 1967.

Mr C. M. Gray retired in October 1972 after ten years’ service with the Commission. Mr Gray was the Atomic Energy Adviser in London and Vienna for a period of six years.

Mr R. L. Crivelli, Director of Information Services, retired in December 1972 following service with the Commission since August 1955. Mr E. A. Lane was appointed Acting Director of Information Services on Mr Crivelli’s retirement.

Mr A. R. Palmer was seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in September 1972.

Mr M. S. Farrell, who had formerly spent several years in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, was appointed Acting Head of the International Relations Section.

Mr R. M. Fry returned from the post of Atomic Energy Adviser in London in July 1972. He was appointed Head of a new Environmental Assessment Section at Head Office.

Mr N. J. D. Carnegie was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Commission in November 1972 following the death, by accident in June 1972, of the former Assistant Secretary, Mr A. C. Cooper.

Mr A. J. Moulding, Director of Finance, commenced an appointment with the IAEA in Vienna for a period of two years from March 1973, and Mr R. C. Coles was appointed Acting Director of Finance.



The total staff employed by the Commission at 30 June 1973 was 1,235. Head Office staff (including liaison officers overseas) accounted for 84. Staff located at the Research Establishment totalled 1,117. A further 34 officers were located at the Commission’s Mascot Office engaged in nuclear power assessment

and nuclear fuel studies including uranium enrichment.

The disposition of staff according to groups was as follows:

Executive and Senior Staff

At 30.6.72 8 At 30.6.73 8

Research Grades 125 127

Experimental Grades 139 137

Other Professional Grades 82 80

Technical Grades 419 416

Trade Grades 146 141

Administrative and Clerical 184 176

Support Staff (Storemen, Drivers, etc). 153 150

1,256 1,235

INFORMATION SERVICES A technical film produced by the Information Section, “Radioisotope Analy­ tical Techniques in Mineral Processing”, was awarded La Mention de Geologie at the Sixth International Scientific and Technical Film Festival, Brussels, 26­

31 March 1973. The film shows research and development by the Commission’s Isotope Division of radioisotope X-ray techniques for use in continuous on-stream analysis of elements of interest in mineral processing plant feeds, concentrates and tailing streams.

The 16 mm film is in colour and sound and runs for over 20 minutes. Scenes were shot partly at Lucas Heights and partly in the field. Several organisations co­ operated in the production, including Ardlethan Tin N.L., Australian Mineral Development Laboratories, Australian Mineral Industries Research Association Ltd, Cobar Mines Pty Ltd, New Broken Hill Consolidated Ltd, North Broken Hill Ltd, Peko Mines N.L. and The Zinc Corporation Ltd.

The Festival was open to scientific and technical films produced by any country and released after September 1969. The Commission’s entry was released late in 1970. Twenty-one countries submitted a total of 257 films.

The Section produced a 10 minute colour and sound film in August 1972 on the Alligator Rivers Uranium Field in the Northern Territory. Four major uranium areas are shown including the Nabarlek and Ranger deposits.

Location shooting was completed on a 25 minute colour film on nuclear medicine and the production and development of radiopharmaceuticals at Lucas Heights. A number of hospitals in Perth, Adelaide and Sydney co-operated in filming diagnostic procedures.

A new 16 mm Film Catalogue was published in March 1973 listing films available from the Commission’s film library for loan to organisations and schools.


Turnover of films during the year was at a record level. New titles are added regularly to the library.

More than 15,000 visitors inspected the Information Centre at Lucas Heights during the year. The Centre is open to the public seven days a week, except on Christmas Day and Good Friday, for organised groups and casual visitors. A staff member is available to answer questions and discuss exhibits.

Some tourist bus companies are including a visit to the Centre in their itinerary and increasing numbers of schools are availing themselves of the educational facilities provided by the Centre. These facilities are designed for organised groups and include an escorted tour of the site in the visiting group’s bus, screening of films

on nuclear energy, and a supervised inspection of the exhibition set up in the Centre. A tour of the site, including some research laboratories, can be arranged for special groups including senior high school students.

During the year the Commission participated in two major exhibitions. In October 1972, an exhibit dealing with the production, distribution and use of radiopharmaceuticals, in particular technetium 99m-based products, was presented at the Fifth World Conference on General Practice, Melbourne. A comprehensive

display on various aspects of the Commission’s activities relating to the environment was included in the Environment ’73 Conference and Exhibition, Sydney, in February 1973, at the invitation of the New South Wales Minister for Environ­ mental Control.

Several minor exhibitions were shown in Sydney, including a display incor­ porating the use of master-slave manipulators at Roselands Shopping Centre, Sydney.

To meet a continuing demand for non-technical information on atomic energy from the community generally, and in particular from primary and secondary school teachers and students, several new or revised Commission publications were produced and distributed. The publications, which are available

free of charge, include revised editions of “The Story of Atomic Energy”, “Radioisotopes”, “What is Nuclear Power?”, a 32-page colour booklet “Lucas Heights”, a number of leaflets, and reprints of published papers on specific topics. A new booklet, “Selected Uranium Mineral Specimens”, includes 28 colour

plates presenting a selection of uranium- and thorium-bearing minerals found in Australia. A 55-page text, “An Introduction to Nuclear Science”, continued to sell strongly to schools throughout Australia at 25c a copy.

In addition to the production of its Annual Report, the Commission publishes a quarterly journal, “Atomic Energy in Australia”. The circulation of the journal, both in Australia and overseas, continued to increase. The Section also arranged the production of a number of internal reports and met the printing requirements of

the Australian School of Nuclear Technology.

Articles were written for newspapers and periodicals and assistance was given to journalists throughout Australia in the preparation and illustration of articles on nuclear energy. Several Press and T.V. visits were arranged to the Research Establishment. Many black-and-white and colour photographs were

distributed in Australia and overseas. Talks were given to clubs and professional groups.


Mr O. Horiki, of the Japan

Atomic Energy Research Institute, at the control desk of the Commis­ sion’s 10 MW (thermal) research reactor, HIFAR, at Lucas Heights. Mr Horiki began a one-year attach­

ment to the Commission in

February 1973.

OVERSEAS ATTACHMENTS Mr B. J. McGregor was on attachment to the United States Atomic Energy Commission’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Tennessee, during the year. He is to return in July 1973 after a posting of 21 years during which he

worked in the Reactor Shielding Group. Three new attachments of Commission officers were arranged in the USA and one in the UK. In January 1973, Mr D. I. Macnab began a term of attach­ ment to Gulf General Atomic (GGA), San Diego, California, where he is working

in the Safety and Reliability Analysis Branch. GGA is marketing nuclear power stations based on a high temperature gas-cooled reactor design. Negotiations are in progress for Mr Macnab to complete his two-year term with an attachment to the US nuclear licensing and regulatory body. Dr D. M. Levins, also in January

1973, began a two-year attachment at ORNL to work on nuclear fuel reprocessing in the Chemical Technology Division. In June 1973, Mr G. H. Clark commenced a two-year attachment at the USAEC’s Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Richland, Washington, to work on a project related to the study of the dispersion of atmospheric contaminants. Mr C. B. Mason left for the UK in June 1973 to begin an attachment of six months at Harwell. This will be followed by six months at Culham and six months at the University of Colorado, USA. Mr Mason will gain experience in computer software.

ATTACHMENT TO THE COMMISSION The first attachment to the Commission was arranged under the Australia- Japan Agreement for Co-operation in the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, signed in February 1972. Mr O. Horiki, a reactor engineer from the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute, began a one-year attachment in February 1973 to the Reactor Operations Section at the Commission’s Research Establishment, Lucas Heights.

EXTRAMURAL RESEARCH The Commission arranges contracts with universities and other bodies to carry out research on topics of a fundamental nature directly related to the Commission’s program. Thus the Commission is able to benefit from expert knowledge in the universities and to co-operate with them.

Five new contracts were awarded and support was continued for two earlier contracts. The total sum granted was $57,917. Details are given in Appendix E.


AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING Under AINSE auspices, research students and staff from universities and other tertiary academic bodies made considerable use of the reactors, accelerators and other special equipment at Lucas Heights. Additions were made to the equipment provided by the Institute at Lucas Heights, and research and training projects were supported through grants, studentships, fellowships and conferences.

The AINSE Council (consisting of four representatives of the Commission and one representative of each of the university members) met twice at Lucas Heights, and twice elsewhere. In connection with these meetings, Professor E. O. Hall (Vice President) delivered a public lecture at James Cook University on

“Materials Science and Reactor Technology,” and Professor Μ. H. Brennan (President to 31 December 1972) spoke on “Energy and Fuels Over the Next 50 Years” to a large audience at the Australian National University. Sir Ernest Titterton became AINSE President on 1 January 1973. The Council was advised by an Executive Committee and a number of specialist committees, each expert

in a particular discipline. The Executive Officer, Mr E. A. Palmer, was assisted by a staff of nine at Lucas Heights (three administrative and six scientific and tech­ nical).

F in a n ce The Institute’s income for the year ended 31 December 1972 was $315,602, which included $256,500 received from the Commission and $56,500 from Aus­ tralian universities. A total of $300,178 was spent during the year on operations and $29,617 for assets acquisition. At 31 December 1972, the current assets

totalled $3,750 and fixed assets (mainly scientific equipment) held at that date had cost $371,177. During the second part of 1972, the universities agreed to increases in their subscriptions which raised their contributions to a total of $70,000 a year from 1 January 1973. AINSE Council also requested the Commission to con­

sider a similar proportionate increase in its annual contribution.

C o n fe re n c e s Three AINSE conferences took place during 1972-73:

The 6th AINSE Radiation Chemistry Conference, 21 to 23 August 1972. Lucas Heights; 66 participants from 29 organisations discussed 41 papers.

The 2nd AINSE Neutron Diffraction Conference, 16 to 17 October 1972, Lucas Heights; 63 participants from 19 organisations discussed 33 papers.

The 9th AINSE Plasma Physics Conference, 12 to 14 February 1973, Lucas Heights; 114 participants from 14 organisations discussed 63 papers.

A IN S E S tu d e n ts h ip s A total of eight post-graduate students studying at universities in Australia held AINSE Research Studentships in 1972-73 — three in chemistry, three in physics, one in biology and one in metallurgy. Projects involved the use of facilities

at Lucas Heights to the extent of having each student attached to Lucas Heights for at least one-quarter of his or her working time. Members of AINSE staff and Commission scientists took an active part in these projects and held appointments as co-supervisors with the supervisors from the universities concerned.


A IN S E F e llo w s h ip s

The Institute continued to offer AINSE Research Fellowships for post­ doctoral research workers at a relatively early stage of an independent research career. One new Fellow was appointed (from 20 candidates) in the August 1972 series, and a further two (from 16 candidates) in the February 1973 series. These awards are tenable for up to three years. Nine Fellows held active tenure (eight with universities and one directly at Lucas Heights) during 1972-73, three of these being held by scientists from other countries, and five by Australians with recent overseas experience. The fields of research in which the Fellows were involved included radiation biology, solid state physics, nuclear physics, molecular struc­ ture, and metallurgy. Each Fellow used some of the specialised installations at Lucas Heights, including the reactors, accelerators, radiation sources and associated equipment.

AINSE Council awarded Dr A. M. Lane (AERE, Harwell, UK) the first Senior Fellowship, tenure of which will begin in September 1973.

A IN S E G ra n ts

Research and training projects in nuclear science and engineering, or in developing new techniques related to those fields, again received support under the terms of AINSE Grants. Projects in the 1972 series were current to 31 December 1972 and many received further support in the 1973 series, operative from 1 January. Grants awarded are expecfed to require expenditure of about

$110,000 for the full year. Ninety-six AINSE Grants were awarded in the 1973 series, as listed in Appendix F. The major areas of activity covered by these grants include nuclear engineering, radiation chemistry, radiation biology, nuclear physics, plasma physics, nuclear materials, solid state physics and neutron crystallography. Except in the area of plasma physics (where the Institute’s interest stems from future prospects of electrical power generation from thermonuclear fusion), most projects involve use of Lucas Heights facilities and attachment of the investigators to the Institute for significant periods.

A tta c h m e n ts to L u ca s H e ig h ts

During the calendar year 1972, approximately 400 scientists and engineers from universities and other tertiary institutes in Australia were involved in visits or attachments to Lucas Heights under AINSE auspices. The total time spent exceeded 4,700 man days (not including AINSE staff).

A IN S E In s ta lla tio n s

The Institute invested further funds to provide special equipment for use by attached groups studying neutron diffraction, radiation chemistry and nuclear physics. A large part of the technical effort of the AINSE neutron diffraction group (four staff members) was used to complete a second automatically controlled diffractometer for single crystal work on molecular structures, and to develop a neutron diffractometer with swinging counter geometry. These units and five other diffractometers operated by the Institute use high intensity neutron beams from the reactor HIFAR to investigate molecular structure (particularly the locations of hydrogen atoms) and for experiments in solid state physics (par­ ticularly in magnetic structure and neutron polarisation). In 1972-73 there was


evidence of increasing interest in using neutron diffraction techniques to study the structure of biological molecules, such as vitamins and enzymes, and there was close co-operation between AINSE staff members and university crystallo- graphers on these projects. During the year, a new cryostat was commissioned

to carry out neutron diffraction experiments at liquid helium temperatures (minus 269°C). Much assistance was received from Commission scientists in the conduct of visitors’ experiments involving use of the Commission’s triple axis diffracto­ meters.

Many AINSE sponsored experiments were carried out using the Com­ mission’s 3 MeV proton accelerator and associated equipment. The Institute’s nuclear physics group (two staff members) assisted the university research groups using these facilities and also those using the Commission reactor “Moata”. Many

of the accelerator experiments were in the area of nuclear structure and neutron capture, and involved AINSE Fellows and AINSE Students in joint experiments with Commission physicists. In 1972-73, the Institute added a number of new instrumentation items to the array of equipment previously purchased for this

work from AINSE funds.

The pulsed electron source (Febetron 706) purchased by the Institute in 1971 was fully commissioned in 1972-73 and made available for pulse radio­ lysis work which a number of university radiation chemists wished to undertake. The Commission’s 1.3 MeV electron accelerator was also used by these

investigators and by physicists from universities studying radiation damage effects in metals. Commission staff shared some of these experiments and also assisted a number of university members (chemists and biologists) using the Commission’s cobalt 60 gamma-radiation sources at Lucas Heights.

The Institute provided financial support for university staff to attend courses at the Australian School of Nuclear Technology, and acted as a liaison channel between academic bodies and the Commission. Other activities included circulation of research reports, loan of equipment, and provision of special materials such as heavy water.

F u tu re O p e ra tio n s

During 1972-73, AINSE Council undertook a review of the Institute’s activities to aid in planning future operations. Councillors took a broad view of the Institute’s role, and looked to developments which might extend its area of operations, particularly in acting as a co-operarive organisation through which

the use of certain specialised resources for research and training might be optimised. The prospect of an effective future contribution was seen to depend on obtaining adequate financial support.

AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL OF NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY The school is operated jointly by the Commission and the University of New South Wales. It is located at Lucas Heights and is thus able to use Research

Establishment facilities. Lectures are given mainly by Commission staff, some are given by staff members of the University of New South Wales, and a few lectures on specialised topics are given by visiting lecturers from other universities and industrial establishments.


Radioisotope Courses for Graduates were held from 26 June to 21 July 1972, and from 13 November to 8 December 1972. Each course involved approximately 45 hours of lectures and tutorials and 60 hours of practical work. The total number of participants was 27.

Radioisotope Courses for Non-Graduates were held from 21 August to 8 September 1972, and from 15 January to 5 February 1973. These courses each involved approximately 30 hours of lectures and tutorials and 60 hours of practical work. The total number of participants was 24.

A Nuclear Technology Course was held from 12 February to 1 June 1973. The course comprised 230 hours of lectures and tutorials and 70 hours of practical work. Twelve persons participated. A course on Radionuclides in Medicine and Biology began on 25 June and will continue until 20 July 1973. This is a new venture designed to contribute to the Royal Australian College of Physicians syllabus for vocational training in nuclear medicine. The number of participants was 16.

A total of 79 graduates and non-graduates attended the school’s courses during the year. These included 21 Colombo Plan Fellows and five places spon­ sored by AINSE. In addition to those from Australia, participants came from Indonesia, Iran, South Korea, South Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, Bangla­ desh and Malaysia.

SAFETY REVIEW COMMITTEE The Safety Review Committee held its tenth meeting in September 1972. The Committee commented favourably on the good record of radiological safety within the Commission. However, it recommended that medical and accident reporting would be improved by the inclusion of more detailed information, particularly full information on potential incidents.

The Committee inspected various laboratories and facilities at Lucas Heights and made some recommendat'ons for improving the sfandards for general safety in the areas. All the recommendations made by the Committee have been adopted by the Commission.


As required by Section 31 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1953-66, financial accounts for the year ended 30 June 1973 are annexed as Appendix A and the Report of the Auditor General is included as Appendix B. Gross operational expenditure for the year was $13,345,315 compared with the estimate of $13,520,000. The amount received and applied as a reduction to gross operational expenditure was $738,775 (estimate $533,000), resulting in a net cash requirement to be met from Parliamentary Appropriation of $12,606,540 against the estimate of $12,987,000. The reduced cash requirement resulted from the increase in receipts of $205,775 and under-expenditure in Administrative and Research expense amounting to $174,685. Capital Works and Services expenditure at $1,228,674 was only marginally lower than the estimate of $1,229,000.

Administration expenditure increased by 5.5% over the previous year. This increase relates directly to the implementation of various salary awards and determinations during the year, and unscheduled compensation payments.


Research expenditure increased by 8% from $11,429,881 for the previous year to $12,342,372. Salaries increased by $438,636, resulting from determina­ tion and award variations. Stores and materials totalled $1,482,861. Of the amount spent on power, water and reactor supplies ($520,789), $203,801

represents the purchase of fuel elements for HIFAR. A total of $315,331 was paid to Australian universities, the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering and to other organisafions for specialised research related to the Commission’s own program. General administrative costs representing travel,

postages, telephones, transport, library, etc., accounted for $489,819 of incidental expenses, the remaining $1,111,841 being expended on building maintenance ($168,723), computer hire ($396,339) and cleaning and outside consultants $546,779.

Revenue decreased by $210,589 to $738,775. Included in the previous year’s figure was an amount of $333,438 received from the realisation of Rum Jungle assets. The realisation of these assets was completed during the year, a final sum of $9,837 being received. Radioisotope sales totalled $648,752, an increase

of 13 % over the previous year. Current sales levels indicate that a greater increase will result in 1973-74.

Building construction expenditure amounted to $416,777 compared to $665,449 the previous year. The sum of $8,521 was expended on improvements to administrative buildings at Head Office, whilst $408,256 was expended on research buildings. No major contracts were let during the year. Works in

progress at the beginning of the year and minor buildings and site services accounted for the expenditure.

Research plant and equipment expenditure decreased by $286,552 to $811,897. The previous year’s expenditure contained an amount of $424,515 for Critical Facility equipment. Excluding this cost from the previous year’s figures shows an increase in expenditure on basic items of $137,963. The development

of more sophisticated equipment and the cost escalation of this type of equipment have contributed largely to this increase.


Appendix A— Financial Accounts



Comparative Figures

1972-73 1971-72

$ $ $

Administrative Expenditure:

Salaries and payments in the nature of salary 687,212 657,258

General Expenses .................................... ...... 262,157 242,766

949,369 900,024


Salaries and payments in the nature of salary 8,421,731 7,983,095

Stores and Materials ................................ ..... 1,482,861 1,236,670

Power, Water and Supplies..................... ..... 520,789 429,872

Grants in aid of Research ........................ ..... 315,331 301,610

Incidental Expenses ...................................... 1,601,660 1,478,634

12,342,372 11,429,881

Less Proceeds of Sales............................... .... 738,775 949,364

11,603,597 10,480,517

Information Services:

Exhibitions, Publications and Publicity... ... 53,574 53,574 45,918

Net Operating Expenditure ...... 12,606,540 11,426,459



$ $

Capital Expenditure:

Administrative Buildings and Equipm ent 8,521 Research Sites and Establishments ............ 408,256

Research Plant and Equipm ent..................... 811,897


Net Operating and Capital Expenditure ......... 13,835,214

Advances to Rum Jungle Project ..................... —

Advances to Jervis Bay Nuclear Power Project —



Administrative Buildings and Equipment ............................... 489,442

Research Sites and Establishments ....................................... 21,345,479

Reactor HIFAR ........................................................................ 2,989,256

Scientific Plant and Equipment ............................................. 11,304,211


Comparative Figures



19,066 646,383 1,098,449


13, 190,357



1972 480,921 20,941,344 2,985,135





Australian Atomic Energy Commission.



Acting Director of Finance,

Australian Atomic Energy Commission.

Appendix B — Auditor General’s Report, Commonwealth of Australia


Auditor General’s Office Canberra, A.C.T. 21 August 1973

The Honourable the Minister for Minerals and Energy, Parliament House, CANBERRA, A.C.T. 2600

Dear Sir,


In compliance with section 31 (2.) of the Atomic Energy Act 1953-1966, the Commission has submitted the following financial statements for my report—

Statement of Net Expenditure for the year ended 30 June 1973; and

Statement of Capital Assets as at 30 June 1973.

The statements are in the form approved by the Treasurer under section 31 (1.) of the Act. Copies are attached for your information.

I now report that, in my opinion—

(a) the accompanying financial statements are based on proper accounts and records;

(b) the statements are in agreement with the accounts and records and show fairly the financial operations of the Commission for the year ended 30 June 1973; and

(c) the receipt, expenditure and investment of moneys and the acquisition and disposal of assets by the Commission during the year have been in accordance with the Act.

Yours faithfully,



Appendix C — Senior Staff of Commission at 30 June 1973


Secretary: W. B. Lynch, B.A.

Acting Chief, Technical Policy and International Relations Division: A. R. W. Wilson, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Head, Technical Policy Section: F. L. Bett, B.Met.E.(Hons.), M.Eng.Sc.(Hons.), M.A.I.W., M.Aus.I.M.M.

Head, Safety Assessment Section: D. W. Crancher, M.Sc., M.I.Mech.E.

Acting Head, International Relations: M. S. Farrell, B.Sc., A.R.A.C.I.

Head, Environmental Assessment Section: R. M. Fry, B.Sc.(Hons.)

Chief, Nuclear Technology Division: R. K. Warner, B.Sc., Ph.D., A.R.A.C.I.

Head, Nuclear Materials Section:

S. A. E. South, B.Sc., Grad.Dip.(Min.Proc.), A.M.Aus.I.M.M., M.A.I.M.E.

Acting Director, Information Services: E. A. Lane.

Acting Director of Finance: R. C. Coles, A.A.S.A.

Development Group

Head, Development Group:

K. F. Alder, M.Sc., F.I.M., M .I.R.E.E.(Aust), A.M.Aus.I.M.M.

Deputy Head: A. D. Thomas, M.Sc., M.Inst.P., A.A.I.P.

Chief, Nuclear Power Assessment Division: D. R. Griffiths, B.E.

Head, Reactor Assessment Section: F. H. Carr, M.E., M.I.E.Aust.

Chief, Nuclear Development Division:

G. L. Miles, B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D., F.R.I.C., F.R.A.C.I., A.Inst.P., A.A.I.P.

Deputy Chief: W. J. Wright, M.Sc., F.I.M.

Head, Site Studies Section: L. H. Keher, B.Sc.

Overseas Representatives

Atomic Energy Attache, Washington: P. V. Crooks, B.Sc., A.F.A.I.M.

Atomic Energy Adviser, London:

W. E. T. Cawsey, B.E., D.C.Ae., A.M.I.E.Aust., A.F.A.I.M.

Counsellor (Atomic Energy), Tokyo: W. B. Rotsey, B.Met., Ph.D. Attache (Atomic Energy), Vienna: G. L. Hanna, M.Sc.


Acting Director: J. L. Svmonds, B.Sc.(Hons.), Ph.D., F.Inst.P., F.A.I.P. Acting Deputy Director: R. Smith, B.Met.E.(Hons.), M.Eng.Sc., Ph.D.

i l l

Chemical Technology Division

Chief of Division: C. J. Hardy, B.Sc.(Hons.), Ph.D., D.Sc., F.R.I.C. Head, Reactor Chemistry and Chemical Physics Branch: R. N. Whittem, B.Sc.(H ons.), A.R.A.C.I.

Head, Reactor Chemistry Section: J. V. Evans, B.Sc.(Hons.), Ph.D., A.R.I.C. Head, Chemical Physics Section: J. W. Kelly, M.Sc., Ph.D., A.A.I.P. Head, Inorganic Chemistry Section: T. M. Florence, M.Sc., A.S.T.C., A.R.A.C.I. Head, Chemical Engineering Section:

P. G. Alfred son, B.Sc.App.(Hons.), B.E.(H ons.), M.Sc., Ph.D., C.Eng., M.I.Chem.E.

Engineering Research Division

Chief of Division: G. W. K. Ford, M.B.E., M.A.(Cantab.), M.I.Mech.E. Head, Reactor Performance Section: A. Bicevskis, M.Eng.Sc., Dipl. Ing., M.A.N.S., M.B.N.E.S.

Head, Reactor Safety Research Section: I. F. Mayer, B.Sc., B.E., A.A.I.P., M.Inst.P., C.Eng., A.F.R.Ae.S.

Head, Heat Transfer Section:

K. R. Lawther, B.Sc., B.E., Ph.D., C.Eng., M.I.Chem.E.

Head, Engineering Physics Section: T. J. Ledwidge, B.Sc., Ph.D., C.Eng., M.Inst.P.

Health and Safety Division

Chief of Division and Head, Radiation Biology Section: G. M. Watson, M.B., B.S., D.Phil., M.R.C.P., M.R.A.C.P., F.R.C.P.A.

Head, Safety Section: J. C. E. Button, B.Sc.(Hons.), F.Inst.P., F.A.I.P.

Head, Health Physics Research Section: D. R. Davy, B.Sc.(Hons.)

Instrumentation and Control Division

Chief of Division: J. K. Parry, M.Sc., Ph.D. Head, Applied Physics Section: A. J. Tavendale, M.Sc., Ph.D. Head, Control and Systems Studies Section: C. P. Gilbert, M.Sc., M.I.E.E.

Isotope Division

Chief of Division: J. N. Gregory, D.Sc., F.R.A.C.I. Deputy Chief of Division and Head, Irradiation Research Section: J. G. Clouston, M.Sc., Ph.D., A.S.T.C., D.I.C., F.A.I.P. Head, Radioisotope Applications Research Section·. J. S. Watt, M.Sc., A.A.I.P.,


Head, Radioisotope Services Branch, and Head, Activation and Radiation Source Section: U. Engelbert, Dr. Ing., F.I.M .(Lond-), V.D.Eh.

Head, Pharmaceutical and Chemical Products Section: R. E. Boyd, B.Sc., A.M.C.T. Technical Sales Manager: W. A. Wiblin, B.Sc.


Materials Division

Chief of Division: D. G. Walker, M.Sc., Ph.D., A.R.A.C.I., A.M.Aus.I.M.M. Head, Fuels Branch, and Head, Ceramics Section: K. D. Reeve, M.Sc., Ph.D., A.I.Ceram.

Head, Metallurgy and Assessment Section: R. J. Hilditch, B.Tech., A.S.A.S.M., A.M.Aus.I.M.M.

Head, Materials Science:

P. M. Kelly, M.A.(Cantab.), Ph.D., M .Inst.P., F.A.I.P.

Head, Reactor Materials Section: K. U. Snowden, B.Sc., Ph.D., M .Inst.P., A.A.I.P.

Physics Division

Acting Chief of Division: W. Gemmell, B.Sc.(Hons.), M.Inst.P., A.A.I.P.

Acting Head, Experimental Physics Section: D. B. McCulloch, B.Sc.(Hons.)

Head, Neutron Physics Section: J. R. Bird, M.Sc., Ph.D., F.A.I.P.

Head, Theoretical Physics Section: B. E. Clancy, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Applied M athem atics and Computing Section

Head of Section: D. J. Richardson, B.A.(Hons.), B.Sc., Ph.D., F.A.C.S.

Mechanical Development Section

Head of Section: D. R. Ebeling, B.Mech.E., M.E., M.I.Mech.E., M.I.E.Aust.

Operations Division

Associate Director (Operations): R. C. P. Cairns, B.Sc.(Hons.), Ph.D., D.Sc., A.S.T.C., C.Eng., M.I.Chem.E., F.I.E.Aust.

Acting Head, Reactor (HIFAR) Operations Section: G. A. Creef, A.S.T.C.(Mech.Eng.)

Head, Engineering Services Section: A. C. Higgins, C.Eng., F.I.Mech.E.

Acting Head, Works Section: J. D. Wilson, A.Sw.T.£., M.I.E.Aust.

Head, Site Operations Section: E. D. Hespe, A.S.T.C.

Administration Division

Associate Director (Management): H. W. J. Bowen, B.Ec.

Senior Administrative Officer: C. H. Bcbb, A.A.S.A.

Site Medical Officer: A. D. Tucker, M.B., B.S.

Technical Secretariat

Scientific Secretary: K. H. Tate, B.Sc., M.Aus.I.M.M.

Acting Librarian: Mrs. E. A. Newland, B.A., A.L.A.A.

Australian School of Nuclear Technology

Principal: D. A. Newmarch, B.Sc.(Hons.), B.A.(Hons.), M.R.I.P., H.A.I.N.E.

Appendix D — AAEC Research Projects

The main research projects in progress at the Research Establishm ent at 3 0 June 1 9 7 3 are listed below.

Uranium Processing

Microstructure of Australian uranium ores, relevant to uranium extraction. Development and operation of a fluorine production cell. Development of an improved process for producing uranium hexafluoride. New methods of processing uranium ores. Non-aqueous chemistry of the actinide elements and other metals. Novel methods of producing uranium dioxide fuel pellets. Sintering of uranium dioxide. Properties of sintered uranium dioxide. Economic potential of fabrication of ceramics by continuous concentration and extrusion.

Uranium Enrichment

Assessment of centrifuge technology. .Studies of fabrication of composite materials. Mechanical behaviour of composite materials. Photochemical separation of uranium isotopes.

Development of gas lasers for photochemical excitation. Separation of gaseous molecular or isotopic species by standing shock-waves in supersonic flow streams.


Engineering methods of calculating reactor core performance. Reactor safety studies. Heat transfer and fluid flow studies for reactor performance and safety evaluation. Energy conversion and heat utilisation. Noise and vibration analysis applied to reactor diagnostic and engineering research


Dynamic analysis of reactor and power station systems.


Provision of a neutron data library and extension to non-neutron data. Mechanisms of system failure and analysis of safety issues. Mechanisms and methods of calculation of reactor properties. Experimental measurement of nuclear parameters. Neutron transport and operational and safety problems associated with the physics of

a variety of reactor systems.

Materials and Chemistry

Operating and safety aspects of water circuits in reactors. Studies of reactor fuel performance. Fracture characteristics of zirconium alloys. Creep strain in zirconium-niobium alloy pressure tubes (in collaboration with the

UKAEA). Irradiation embrittlement and the fracture characteristics of steels. Deformation mechanisms in reactor materials. Physical metallurgy of reactor materials. Corrosion of reactor materials.

Environment, Health and Safety

Chemical and physiological effects of uranium oxides and other compounds. Pollution control in the nuclear industry. Field assessment of environmental impact of nuclear projects. Assessment and control of radioiodine in containment and clean-up systems.

Acoustic meteorological sounding for the study of atmospheric dispersion. Risks and hazards assessment of radiation exposure. Physical data on the interaction of radiation with matter.

Techniques for neutron, radon, biological dosimetry, etc.

R adioisotopes and Radiation

Nuclear techniques applied to borehole and on-stream mineral analysis. Novel applications in applied nuclear analysis, e.g., uranium, water content. Nuclear techniques in hydrology. Industrial applications of radioisotopes.

Development of national standards for radioactivity and radiation. Semiconductor devices for radiation detection and measurement. Chemical effects of radiation, particularly in polymers. Biological effects of radiation — pressure effects in radiation response.

Cancer radiobiology. Development of new radiopharmaceuticals.

Other Research and Research Services

Hydrogen isotope effects relevant to heavy-water production. New aqueous separation methods for actinide elements. Properties of ribbon reinforced and eutectic composites. Physics of ceramic fuel materials.

Inelastic neutron scattering studies of solids. Scattering of neutron and X-radiation from radiation defects in solids. Development of a plasma focus source of neutron pulses. New analytical chemistry methods, including neutron activation analysis and spark

source mass spectrometry. New developments in electronic components and circuits. Computer software techniques. New computational methods. Application of computer hardware developments.

Use of computers to control experiments and on-line data handling. Special welding techniques in nuclear applications. Development of non-destructive testing methods such as neutron radiography.

1 15

Appendix E — AAEC Research Contracts

In 1 9 7 2 -1 9 7 3 , the Com m ission awarded research contracts for the projects listed below.


U n i v e r s i t y o r O r g a n i s a t i o n R e s e a r c h P r o j e c t

University of Adelaide Department of Chemical Engineering

Internal friction studies of pre-yield pheno­ mena in steels ($1,400).

Royal Perth Hospital Department of Medical Physics Fate of non-radioactive components of certain radiopharmaceuticals ($200).

Flinders University of South Australia School of Physical Sciences Neutron strength function calculations ($4,100).

University of New England Department of Physics Tunable laser research ($17,100).

University of Melbourne Department of Inorganic Chemistry

Non-aqueous reactions of heavy metal fluorides ($18,142).


University of Adelaide Department of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry The influence of high pressure upon reactions

in aqueous solutions ($1,975).

Australian Mineral Development Laboratories Environmental aspects of uranium extraction ($15,000).


Appendix F — AINSE Research and Training Projects

The Australian Institute of Nuclear S cience and Engineering awarded AINSE Grants in the 1 9 7 3 Series in support of the following projects. (Allocation of up to $ 1 4 5 ,3 9 4 for 9 6 projects, plus eight Fellowships and eight Studentships.)


Jam es Cook University of North Queensland

1. Neutron capture -y-ray studies. (Physics, Dr. R. B. Taylor, up to $1,200.) 2. The application of neutron capture γ-ray spectroscopy to the elemental and isotopic analysis of materials. (Physics, Dr. I. F. Bubb, up to $2,260.) 3. Effect of γ -radiation on selected monomers and polymers. (Chemistry, Dr. E. Senogles,

up to $1,519.) 4. The structure of an enzyme by neutron diffraction. (Chemistry, Associate Professor L. F. Power, up to $2,712.) 5. X-ray diffraction studies on metal complexes of quadridentate ligands. (Chemistry, Dr.

L. F. Lindoy, up to $790.) 6. X-ray and neutron diffraction studies on high pressure minerals. (Geology and Mineralogy, Associate Professor P. J. Stephenson and Dr. C. Cuff, up to $1,700.) 7. Dislocation — point defect interaction in alkali halides. (Physics, Dr. G. A. Bielig,

up to $900.)

University of Queensland

1. The modification of turbulence structure for optimum heat transfer in ducts. (Engineering. Dr. K. J. Bullock, up to $1,600.) 2. The development of transducers and measuring techniques for isothermal and non­ isotherm al two-phase flow. (Engineering, Dr. K. Bremhorst, up to $1,150.)

3. Production of heavy water using parametric pumping. (Chemical Engineering, Dr. R. G. Rice, up to $1,553.) 4. Optimisation of dynamic systems with hardware constraints and computational restric­ tions. (Engineering, Dr. D. N. P. Murthy, up to $200.) 5. Identification of titanium isotopes by (ρ,γ) nuclear activation and excited levels of 48V

and BOV nuclei. (Physics, Dr. W. B. Lasich, up to $700.) 6. Radiation effects in polymers. (Chemistry, Dr. J. H. O'Donnell, up to $1,660.) 7. Radiation-initiated polymerisation. (Chemistry, Dr. J. H. O’Donnell, up to $1,245.) 8. Neutron and X-ray scattering studies of crystalline solids near transition temperatures.

(Physics, Dr. B. W. Lucas, up to $1,370.) 9. Structure analysis using neutron diffraction. (Chemistry. Dr. C. H. L. Kennard, up to $1,300.) 10. Determination of U and Th in Australian rocks by delayed neutron counting. (Geology

and Mineralogy, Dr. D. C. Green, up to $650.) 11. 4OAr/30Ar age determinations. (Geology and Mineralogy, Dr. D. C. Green, up to $300.) 12. Radiation damage in a and β tin. (Physics, Drs. R. B. Gardiner and S. Myhra, up to $4,715.)

13. Creep deformation processes in metals containing inert gas bubbles. (Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Dr. I. O. Smith, up to $600.)

University of New England

1. Fluorescence studies of scintillators for tunable lasers. (Physics, Professor S. C. Hay don and Dr. G. Wollsey, up to $1,000.) 2. Neutron diffraction study of statistical solids. (Physics, Professor N. H. Fletcher, up to $900.)

3. Fission track studies of rocks and minerals. (Geology, Dr. J. D. Kleeman, up to $800.)

1. Ordering in intermetallic compounds. (Metallurgy, Dr. J. D. Browne, up to $850.) 2. Interactions between interstitial solute atoms in a iron. (Metallurgy, Professor E. O. Hall and Dr. J. D. Browne, up to $600.) 3. Magnetic ordering in intermetallic compounds. (Metallurgy. Drs. J. D. Browne and G.

B. Johnston, up to $1,050.) 4. The influence of structural changes in certain electronic properties of niobium based alloys. (Metallurgy, Professor E. O. Hall and Dr. G. B. Johnston, up to $950.) 5. Solute-vacancy interaction in metals. (Metallurgy, Mr. .1. E. McLennan, up to $200.)

University of Newcastle

University of Sydney

1. Simulation of processes in the turbulent boundary layer. (Engineering, Dr. J. D. Atkinson, up to $455.) 2. Basic study of convective heat transfer processes. (Engineering, Associate Professor R. E. Luxton and Dr. R. A. Antonia, up to $3,083.) 3. Magnetohydrodynamic converter closed-cycle working media. (Electrical Engineering,

Professors Η. K. Messerle, D. W. George and Dr. A. D. Stokes, up to $650.) 4. Far-infrared wave interactions in plasmas. (Plasma Physics, Dr. L. C. Robinson, up to $3,219.) 5. PIG discharge for cyclotron harmonic wave studies. (Plasma Physics. Dr. G. F. Brand,

up to $2,490.) 6. Measurement of the plasma electron temperature behind shock fronts. (Plasma Physics. Drs. W. I. B. Smith and I. S. Falconer, up to $4,920.) 7. Plasma centrifuge for isotope separation. (Plasma Physics. Dr. B. W. Janies arjd Professor

C. N. Watson-Munro, up to $4,260.) 8. Transport properties of uranium plasmas. (Mechanical Engineering, Professor D. W. George, up to $2,950.)

University of New South Wales

1. Bubble size measurements in two-phase flows. (Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics. Dr. M. R. Davis, up to $1,200.) ·

2. Conditional sampling measurements in turbulent flows. (Fluid Mechanics and Thermo­ dynamics, Dr. M. R. Davis, up to $850.) 3. Thermo-mechanical analysis of nuclear fuel elements. (Nuclear Engineering, Associate Professor Z. J. Holy, up to $2,000.) 4. Noise measurements in the HIFAR reactor. (Nuclear Engineering, Mr. L. G. Kemeny,

up to $2,636.) 5. A study of boiling heat transfer from flat sloping surfaces. (Physics, (Wollongong University College) Associate Professor S. E. Bonamy, up to $1,405.) 6. The effects of neutron irradiation on the mechanical properties of alkali halides.

(Physics, Dr. H. F. Pollard, up to $500.) 7. Neutron induced nuclear reactions at intermediate energies. (Physics, Professor P. George, up to $500.) 8. Radiation induced reactions of tritium with hydrocarbons. (Nuclear and Radiation

Chemistry, Dr. M. A. Long, up to $988.) 9. (a) Radiation catalysis and (b) Studies in mass spectroscopy. (Physical Chemistry, Associate Professor J. L. Garnett, up to $2,200.) 10. Energy distribution of free radicals produced by nuclear radiation. (Physical Chemistry.

Dr. R. Solly, up to $700.) 11. The neutron study of two pyranose compounds. (Physics, Dr. V. J. James, up to $400.) 12. Magnetic phase-transitions in mixed oxide systems. (Physics, Dr. G. L. Paul, up to $ 1,200.)

13. Neutron diffraction investigation of lanthanum lead manganate. (Physics, Dr. G. L. Paul, up to $1,500.) 14. Improvement of thermoelectric materials through boundary scattering of phonons. (Physics. Professor H. J. Goldsmid, up to $450.) 15. Effect of impurity segregation on mass transport in grain boundaries. (Physics, Dr. L.

B. Harris, up to $100.) 16. Proton and ion channelling through crystal lattices. (Physics, Associate Professor .1. C. Kelly, up to $1,100.) 17. Distribution of K-X-rays as a function of mass and atomic number in the spontaneous

fission of -’02Cf. (Physics. Dr. J. N. Mathur (Wollongong University College), up to $300.)

Macquarie University 1. Collisional decomposition of molecules formed by recoil from nuclear reactions. (Chemistry, Dr. J. G. Hawke, up to $850.) 2. Radiolysis of polyunsaturated acids and esters. (Biological Sciences, Dr. J. M. Gebicki.

up to $400.) 3. Movement of sugars and ions through the phloem. (Biological Sciences, Dr. J. Moorby, up to $300.) 4. Radiation effects in surface films. (Biological Sciences, Drs .1. G. Hawke and J. M.

Gebicki, up to $1,000.)

Australian National University 1. The spectroscopy of a laser-produced plasma. (Engineering Physics, Dr. F. E. Irons, up to $810.) 2. Suppression of back-reflected laser light from a thermonuclear plasma. (Engineering

Physics, Dr. J. L. Hughes, up to $450.) 3. 40A r /39Ar age determination of rocks. (Geophysics and Geochemistry, Dr. I. McDougall, up to $450.) 4. Irradiation of synthetic zircons. (Solid State Physics, Dr. E. R. Vance, up to $500.)

University of Melbourne 1. Turbulent boundary layers and heat transfer. (Engineering, Professor P. N. Joubert and Dr. A. E. Perry, up to $1,900.) 2. (p,v) studies. (Physics, Dr. D. G. Sargood, up to $1,470.) 3. Study of (d.n) nuclear reactions at low energies. (Physics. Dr. C. D. McKenzie, up to

$ 1,000.) 4. Activity coefficients of the hydrated electron in electrolyte solutions. (Chemistry. Drs. R. Cooper and P. T. McTigue, up to $1,200.) 5. Radiation modification of adsorption properties of inorganic surfaces. (Chemistry, Drs.

T. W. Healy and R. Cooper, up to $900.) 6. Pulse radiolysis studies of gaseous ions and excited molecules. (Chemistry, Dr. R. Cooper, up to $6,441.) 7. Genes controlling radiation response in P se u d o m o n a s aeruginosa. (Genetics, Dr. B. T. O.

Lee, up to $500.) 8. Measurement of anharmonic effects. (Physics, Dr. Z. Barnea. up to $490.) 9. The application of activation and fission, track analysis to fundamental problems in geochemistry and cosmochemistry. (Geology. Professor J. F. Lovering, up to $2,200.)

Monash University 1. The effects of radiation on the electrical conductivity of some simple polymer and polymer-like systems. (Physics, Dr. R. J. Fleming, up to $1,318.) 2. Radiation sensitivity and radiation repair mechanisms in P s e u d o m o n a s aeruginosa.

(Genetics, Professor B. W. Holloway, up to $600.) 3. Short-range order in transition metal alloys and compounds. (Physics. Associate Professor J. H. Smith, up to $2,000.) 4. Distribution of magnetic moment in CuFe and CuMn alloys. (Physics, Dr. T. J. Hicks,

up to $8,530.) _

5. Distribution of magnetic moment in transition metals and alloys. (Physics, Dr. T. J. Hicks, up to $3,125.) 6. Hyperfine interaction studies by nuclear orientation and angular correlation. (Physics, Dr. J. A. Barclay, up to $670.) 7. Magnetic interactions of rare earth compounds. (Physics, Dr. J. D. Cashion. up to $960.)

La Trobe University 1. The influence of repair mechanisms on radiation resistance and induction of mutations in S a lm o n e lla t y p h i m u r i u m . (Genetics, Dr. D. G. MacPhec, up to $1,400.) 2. The genetic analysis of radiation resistance and sensitivity in wild populations of

D rosophila m e la n o g a ster. (Genetics, Dr. I. T. McBcan and Professor P. Λ. Parsons, up to $1,200.) 3. X-ray structure determination of ormosia alkaloids. (Physical Chemistry. Dr. M. F. Mackay, up to $650.) 4. Electronic band structure of transition metal oxides. (Physics. Dr. J. G. Jenkin. up to $600.)

University of Tasmania 1. Fast neutron spectrometer. (Physics, Drs. K. B. and A. G. Fenton, up to $800.) 2. Effects of X-rays, radiomimetic substances and chemical protectors against irradiation damage studied in animal cells in vitro. (Zoology, Dr. Y. Λ. E. Bick, up to $900.)

1. Development of laminar natural-convective flow in a vertical duct. (Engineering, Dr. J. R. Dyer, up to $760.) 2. Fast reactions of inorganic radicals in solution: flash photolysis and pulse radiolysis. (Physical and Inorganic Chemistry, Dr. G. S. Laurence, up to $3,300.) 3. The use of radioactive nitrogen (13N) in studies with bacterial enzymes. (Agricultural

Biochemistry, Professor D. J. D. Nicholas and Mr. H. R. Lovelock, up to $1,000.)

Flinders University of South Australia

L The effects of photon radiation on electrode reactions. (Physical Sciences, Dr. D. B. Matthews, up to $560.) 2. Repair of radiation-induced DNA damage in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (Biological Sciences, Dr. A. H. C. Kung, up to $578.) 3. Arc driven shock waves. (Physical Sciences, Dr. M. G. R. Phillips, up to $904.) 4. Digital recording of Stark broadened lines in plasmas — pilot study. (Physical Sciences,

Dr. A. L. McCarthy, up to $478.) 5. Non-linear wave phenomena at low frequencies. (Physical Sciences, Dr. I. R. Jones and Professor Μ. H. Brennan, up to $2,520.) 6. Fast z-pinch. (Physical Sciences, Drs. E. L. Murray, I. R. Jones and M. G. R. Phillips,

up to $9,980.) 7. Wave-plasma interactions. (Physical Sciences, Dr. R. G. Storer, up to $990.)

University of Western Australia

1. Absolute measurement of neutron production. (Physics, Dr. Η. H. Thies, up to $600.) 2. Crystal structure analysis by neutron diffraction. (Physics, Dr. E. N. Maslen, up to $1,130.) 3. Hyperreduced states of transition metal ions and complexes. (Chemistry, Drs. A. H. White and F. C. R. Cattell, up to $600.)

University of Adelaide


1. Studies of nuclear reactions in aluminium and beryllium. (Nuclear Physics, Australian National University, Dr. L. E. Carlson.) 2. Neutron diffraction studies of Mn-Au alloys. (Physics, Monash University, Dr. J. S. Plant.) 3. Genetic analysis of radiation sensitive strains in Drosophila. (Genetics, La Trobe Univer­

sity, Dr. J. M. Westerman.) 4. Lattice dynamics of ice and other hydrogen-bonded solids. (AINSE Neutron Diffraction Group, Lucas Heights, Dr. D. R. McKenzie.) 5. Theoretical and experimental study of inverse gamma-n and n-gamma reactions near

threshold. (Physics, University of Melbourne, Dr. R. E. Barrett.) 6. Nuclear structure studies at low energies. (Nuclear Physics, Australian National University, Dr. K. H. Bray.) 7. Effect of radiation damage on the upper yield point. (Metallurgy, University of Newcastle,

Dr. K. L. Murty.) 8. Hydrogen bonding in solids. (Chemistry, University of Sydney, Dr. R. D. G. Jones.) 9. Neutron and X-ray diffraction studies of complexes of metals with amino-acids and peptides. (Chemistry, University of Sydney, Mrs. M. Scudder.) 10. Studies of (ρ,γ) and (ρ,α) reactions of astro-physical interest, in particular -3Na (p,7)

and 23Na (ρ,α). (Physics, University of Melbourne, S. G. Boydell.) 11. Diffusion in UO.,*x. (Chemistry, Flinders University of South Australia, G. E. Murch.) 12. Semi-conductor neutron detectors. (Physics, University of Tasmania, R. N. Williams.) 13. Structural studies of metal complexes of vitamin Bg and model system. (Chemistry,

James Cook University of North Queensland, K. E. Turner.) 14. Angular distribution of fission fragments. (Physics, University of New South Wales (Wollongong University College), J. Caruana.) 15. The creep and creep-rupture behaviour of Zr-1% Nb alloy. (Mining and Metallurgical

Engineering, Queensland University, W. R. Thorpe.) 16. Studies on ionising radiation mutagenesis. (Genetics, La Trobe University, D. M. Podger.)


Appendix G — Technical Papers by Commission Staff

The following research publications of the Commission consist of contributions accepted by scientific journals and a selection of unclassified scientific reports published in the official AAEC report series. The two groups of publications are listed separately and the latter is subdivided into the A A E C /E Series, the A A EC/TM Series and the AAEC(SP) Series. In addition, a large number of unclassified memoranda are distributed externally.

Patent applications are listed on page 128.

A1REY, P. L. (1973). The effect of irradiation on electrode processes. The hydrogen peroxide electrode. Aust. J. Chem. (In press.) AIREY, P. L. (1973). Prolonged irradiation of dilute aqueous solutions of redox couples. J. Chem. Soc. Faraday Trans., 1 (6 9 ): 1-12.

ALFREDSON, P. G., *DOIG, I. D. (1973). Behaviour of pulsed fluidized beds. Part I. Bed expansion. Trans. Inst. Chem. Engrs. (In press.) (*Uni. of New South Wales.) ALFREDSON, P. G., *DOIG, I. D. (1973). Behaviour of pulsed fluidized beds.

Part II. Bed contraction. Trans. Inst. Chem. Engrs. (In press.) ( *Uni. of New South Wales.) ALLEN, B. J., *MACKLIN, R. L. (1973). ‘ORELA’ neutron capture and stellar nucleosynthesis. Atom ic Energy in Aust., 16 (2 ): 14-21. (*ORNL, Oak Ridge,

Tennessee, USA.) ALLEN, B, J„ *CHAN, D. M. H„ MUSGROVE, A. R. de L„ **MACKLIN, R. L. (1973). Neutron capture cross sections of the isotopes of calcium and barium. Paper presented at Soviet Nat. Conf. on Neutron Physics, Kiev, 28 May-1 June.

(*Uni. of Melbourne.) (**ORNL, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA.) ALLEN, B. J., KENNY, M. J., *BRAY, K. H„ *CARLSON, L. E„ * "'BARRETT, R. (1973). Neutron capture by 3eFe for neutron energies up to 460 keV. Paper presented at Soviet Nat. Conf. on Neutron Physics, Kiev, 28 May-1 June.

(*AINSE Fellow at Australian National Uni.) (**AINSE Fellow at Uni. of Melbourne.) BARNES, C. S„ "'HALBERT, E. J., "GOLDRACK, R. J., WILSON, J. G.

(1973). Mass spectra of nitrogen heterocycles. II Pyridyl schiff bases. Aust. J. Chem. (In press.) ( *CSR Research Labs.) BATLEY, G. E„ FLORENCE, T. M„ KENNEDY, J. R. (1973). Fluorimetric method for the determination of long-chain amines in water. Talanta. (In press.) BEATTIE, D. R. H. (1973). A note on the calculation of two-phase pressure losses.

Nucl. Eng. and Design. (In press.) BERTRAM, W. K., COOK, J. L. (1973). Solution of the inverse reaction problem for complex potentials. Aust. J. Chem., 26:1-5. BIRD, J. R„ ALLEN, B. J., "BERGQVIST, I., **B1GGERSTAFF, J. A. (1973).

Compilation of keV-neutron-capture gamma-ray spectra. Nuclear Data Tables. (In press.) (*Uni. of Lund, Sweden.) (**ORNL, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA.) BOLDEMAN, J. W. (1972). Prompt neutron emission from -5-Cf. Paper presented at 2nd IAEA Panel on Neutron Standards, Vienna, 20 November.

BOLDEMAN, J. W. (1973). Prompt neutron yield from the spontaneous fission of -52Cf. Paper presented at the Soviet National Conf. on Neutron Physics, Kiev, 28 May - 1 June. BOLDEMAN, J. W., WALSH, R. L. (1973). Energy dependence of the average

total fission fragment kinetic energy in the neutron fission of 233U. Paper presented at the Soviet National Conf. on Neutron Physics, 28 May - 1 June. BOSWELL, R. W. (1973). The atomic industry's approach to environmental protec­ tion. Atomic Energy in Aust., 16(2) :2-5.


BOYD, R. E., LANE, E. A. (1973). The medical application of short-lived

radionuclides. A t o m i c E n e r g y in A u s t . , 16( 1) :2 -l0. BRADHURST, D„ SHIRVINGTON, P„ HEUER. P. (1973). The effects of radiation and oxygen on the aqueous oxidation of zirconium and its alloys at 290°C. J. N u c l . M a t . , 46:53-76.

BROWN, J. K. (1972). Influence of blood storage conditions on proliferation of peripheral blood lymphocytes. Paper presented at WHO Symp. on Use of Chromosome Aberrations as a Biological Indicator of Radiation Effects in Man, Mol, Belgium, 4-8 December. CALF, G. E., SMITH, L. W., SPRAGG, W. T. (1973). A unit for the removal of

tritium from laboratory atmospheres. I n t. J. A p p l . R a d . a n d I s o t o p e s , 24:184-185. CARRARD, G., LEDWIDGE, T. E. (1972). Measurement of slip distribution and average void fraction in an air-water mixture. H e t s t r o n i : H e a t a n d M a s s T r a n s f e r . (In press.) CHAPMAN, K„ DALE, L. S„ W HITTEM, R. N. (1973). An improved plasma jet

system for spectrochemical analysis. T h e A n a l y s t . (In press.) COOK, J. L. (1973). Note on inverse scattering calculations of energy independent potentials. A u s t . J. P h y s . (In press.)

CREEP, G. A. (1973). Repair of the shield cooling coils at Face 6— HIFAR. Working paper presented at DIDO-PLUTO Users Meeting, Julich, 2-4 May. DAVY, D. R„ GILES, M. S„ CONWAY, N. F. (1973). Pre-operational assessment of the discharge limits and relative importance of radioactive and other wastes

from uranium production in Australia’s Northern Territory. Paper presented at IAEA/OECD ΝΕΑ /W H O Symposium on Environmental Behaviour of Radionuclides Released in the Nuclear Industry. Aix-en-Provence, France, 14-18 May. EKSTROM, A. (1973). The kinetics and mechanism of the decomposition of the

U (V ) .C r(III) complex and of its reaction with excess C r(III). I n o r g a n i c

C h e m i s t r y . (In press.)

ELCOMBE, Μ. M. (1972). The lattice dynamics of strontium fluoride. J. P h y s i c s C .. S o l i d S t a t e P h y s ic s , 5:2702-2710.

ENGELBERT, U., WIBLIN, W. A. (1972). The role of radioactive products in non-destructive testing and analysis of matter and man. Paper presented at the 3rd Ann. Conf. of the Non-Destructive Testing Assoc, of Aust., Adelaide, 14-16 August. FARDY, J., PEARSON, J. (1973). Solvent extraction of trivalent actinides and

lanthanides from a mixture of carboxylic and aminopolyacetic acid. J. I n o r g . N u c l . C h e m . (In press.)

FLORENCE, T. M. (1972). Is polarography dead? P r o c . R o y a l A u s t . C h e m . I n s t..

July: 211-218. FLORENCE, T. M., FARRAR, Y. J. (1973). Spectrophotometric determination of PBB levels of long-chain amines in waters and raffinates. A n a l . C h i m . A c t a . .

63:255-261. FLORENCE, T. M., FARRAR, Y. J. (1973). Removal of oxygen from polarographic solutions with ascorbic acid. E l e c t r o a n a l y t i c a l C h e m . a n d I n t e r f a c i a l E l e c t r o c h e m . , 41:127-133. FLYNN, W. W., MEEHAN, W. R. (1973). A solvent extraction method for the

determination of phosphorus-32 in seawater. A n a l . C h i m . A c t a . . 63:483-488. FOOKES, R. A., GRAVITIS, V. L„ *HINCKFUSS, D. A., * STUMP, N. W„ WATT, J. S. (1973). Plant trials of radioisotope immersion probes for on-stream analysis of mineral process streams. T r a n s . I n s t. M i n i n g a n d M e t a l l u r g y 82,

C:21-25. ( *The Zinc Corporation Ltd, Broken Hill. NSW.) FRASER, H. J., RITCHIE, A. I. M. (1973). A fast square pulsing and klystron bunching count down system for a 3 MeV Van de Graaff. N u c l . In s t, a n d

M e t h o d s . (In press.)

GREEN, W. J., HOOPER, J. D. (1973). An experimental investigation of the turbulent exchange of mass between rod subchannels. Paper presented at 1st Australasian Conf. on Heat and Mass Transfer, Monash Uni., Melbourne. 23-25 May.


GILBERT, C. P. (1973). The analogue computer as an educational tool. A u s t r a l i a n P h y s ic i s t . (In press.)

HARDY, C. J. (1973). The history of nuclear power and its lesson for solar power. Paper presented at Int. Solar Energy Soc. Aust. and NZ Section Symp. on

Large Scale Solar Power for Aust., Uni. of Queensland, 1 June. HARRIS, R. W. (1972). The measurement of mechanical integrity in a reactor fuel element by the analysis of external vibration signals. N u c l . E n g . a n d D e s i g n ,

23:182-186. HILDITCH, R. J„ CHRIMES, N. W. D. (1972). Neutron radiography. Paper presented at the 3rd Ann. Conf. of the Non-Destructive Testing Assoc, of Aust., Adelaide, 14-16 August. HURST, H. J„ WILSON, P. W. (1972). The electronic absorption spectrum of

gaseous uranium hexachloride and hexafluoride. S p e c t r o s c o p y L e t te r s , 5(8):275- 279. KELLY, P. M. (1973). The quantitative relationship between microstructure and properties in two-phase alloys. M e t a l l u r g i c a l R e v i e w s . (In press.)

KELLY, P. M. (1973). Lattice parameter of a crystal containing large perfect dislocation loops. J. A p p l . P h y s . (In press.)

KELLY, P. M., BLAKE. R. G. (1973). The characterisation of dislocation loops in neutron irradiated zirconium. P h il. M a g . (In press.)

KELLY, P. M., BLAKE, R. G. (1973). Analysis of dislocation loops in neutron irradiated titanium using the ‘symmetric weak beam’ method. P h il. M a g . (In press.) KELLY. P. M., McDOUGALL, P. (1972). Discussion of ‘Crystallographic aspects

of Fe-Ni and Fe-Ni-C dilute alloy martensites’. M e ta l l . T r a n s . 3:2294. KELLY, P. M., SMITH, P. D. (1973). Strain-ageing in zirconium-oxygen alloys. J. N u c l . M a t . (In press.)

LAWTHER, K. R., ILIC, V. (1973). Effect of spacers on burnout in an annulus. Paper presented at 1st Australasian Conf. on Heat and Mass Transfer, Monash Uni., Melbourne, 23-25 May. LAWTHER, K. R., MILES, D. N. (1973). Review of modelling flow boiling cris:s

conditions. J. o f B r itis h N u c l . E n e r g y S o c . (In press.) Paper presented at

1st Australasian Conf. on Heat and Mass Transfer, Monash Uni., Melbourne, 23-25 May. LePAGE, A. H., FANE, A. G. (1973). The kinetics of hydrogen reduction of

UO: and U :0 , derived from ammonium diuranate. J. I n o r g . N u c l . C h e tn .

(In press.)

LOWENTHAL, G. C., WYLLIE, H. A. ( 1973). Thin 4π sources on electrosprayed ion exchange resin for radioactivity standardisation. I n t. J. A p p l . R a d . a n d

I s o t o p e s . (In press.)

LOWENTHAL, G. C„ WYLLIE, H. A. (1972). The storage of radioactive solutions with standardised disintegration rates. Paper presented at Conf. on Metrology of Radionuclides, Herceg-Novi, Yugoslavia, August. LOWENTHAL, G. C„ WYLLIE, H. A. (1972). Special methods of source

preparation. Paper presented at Conf. on Metrology of Radionuclides, Herceg- Novi, Yugoslavia, August. McCULLOCH, D. B. ( 1972). The Critical Facility— a powerful new reactor physics research tool for Lucas Heights. A t o m i c E n e r g y in A u s t . , 15(4):2-14.

MARGRAVE, J. L„ WILSON, P. W„ HURST, H. J. (1973). A study of the raman and broadline NMR spectra of (GeFu)= GeFi. S p e c t r o s c o p y L e t te r s . 6 (3 ): 191­ 195. MATTHEWS, R. (1973). Effect of solute concentration and temperature on the

ceric-cerous dosimeter. R a d i a t i o n R e s e a r c h . (In press.) MAYER, I. F. (1972). Nuclear power and public safety. Paper presented at

Conference on Human Consequences of Technological Change, Uni. of Sydney, 21-25 August. MIDDLETON, M. R. ( 1973). Australian INIS utilization. Paper presented at INIS Seminar on Indexing and Retrieval. Vienna. 25-29 June.

1 2 3

MILES, G. L„ SOUTH, S. A., W ARNER, R. K. (1972). Uranium reserves and prospects for a nuclear fuel industry. 44th ANZAAS Congress Symp. on the Need for Atomic Power in Australia and New Zealand, Sydney, 17 August. MUMME, I. A., LAWTHER, K. R. (1973). Utilisation of fluid temperature

fluctuations for assessing heat exchanger equipment. Paper presented at 1st Australasian Conf. on Heat and Mass Transfer, Monash Uni., Melbourne, 23-25 May. PAKALNS, P. (1973). Determination of thorium in titanium and zirconium

concentrates. Anal. Chim. Acta. (In press.) PAKALNS, P„ McALLISTER, Blanka R. (1972). Determination of phosphate in seawater by an isobutyl-acetate-extraction procedure. J. Marine Research, 30(3) :305-311. PAKALNS, P., McALLISTER, Blanka R. (1972). Spectrophotometric determina­

tion of uranium in selective organic extractants with 2- (5-bromo-2-pyridylaso) -5- diethylaminophenol. Anal. Chim. Acta., 62:207-209. PRICE, G. H., STUART, W. I. (1973). Device for measuring vapour pressure. J. of Physics (E ). (In press.) PRICE, G. H., STUART, W. I. (1973). Thermodynamic properties and infrared

spectra of Liz SO1.H 2O and Liz SOi.DaO. J. Chem. Soc. Faraday Trans. (In press.) RITCHIE, A. I. M., WHITTLESTONE, S. (1972). Measurement of thermal neutron waves at high frequencies in BeO. J. Nuclear Energy. (In press.) RYAN, R. D. (1973). Precision measurements of the ionisation energy and

temperature variation in high purity silicon radiation detectors. Trans. IEEE. (In press.) SABINE, T. M. (1972). Electrical properties of transition metal oxides. J. Aust. Ceram. Soc., 8(2):38-41.

SHYING, Μ. E. (1973). Oxide dissolution mechanisms. III. Surface activation in the system uranium dioxide-sulphuric acid. J. Inorg. Nucl. Chem. (In press.) SOUTH, S. A. (1972). Uranium in Australia. Atomic Energy in Aust., 15(4): 15-30.

SOWERBY, B. D. (1973). A comparison of gamma-ray resonance scattering tech­ niques for borehole analysis. Nucl. Inst, and Methods. (In press.) SOWERBY, B. D., ELLIS, W. K. (1972). Industrial on-stream analysis using gamma- ray resonance scattering. Paper presented at IAEA Symposium on the Use of

Nuclear Techniques in the Basic Metal Industries, Helsinki, August. STUART, W. I., MILLER, D. J. (1973). The nature of ammonium uranates. J. Inorg. Nucl. Chem. (In press.) SYLVA, R. N. (1972). The hydrolysis of iron (III). Rev. Pure and Appl. Chem.,


TAYLOR, J. C., BANNISTER, M. J. (1972). A neutron diffraction study of the anisotropic thermal expansion of β-uranyl dihydroxide. Acta. Cryst. B28, Part 10:2995-2999.

TAYLOR, J. C., WILSON, P. W. (1973). The structure of anhydrous uranyl chloride by powder neutron diffraction. Acta Cryst. (In press.) TAYLOR, J. C., WILSON, P. W„ KELLY, J. W. (1973). The structure of fluorides - I — Deviations from ideal symmetry in the structure of U Fe: A neutron

diffraction analysis. Acta. Cryst., 529, Part 1:7-12.

TAYLOR, J. C„ WILSON, P. W. (1973). The structure of fluorides - III —

The structure of the mixed-valence fluoride Ges F«z. I. American Chem. Soc., 95:1834-1838.

THACKRAY, M„ ROMAN, D„ HETHERINGTON, E. L. R., BRIAN, Η. H. (1972). Intensification of photographs by means of autoradiography. Int. J. Appl. Rad. and Isotopes, 23:79-85.

THACKRAY, M. (1973). Implications of autoradiographic read-out of information from photographs. Int. J. Appl. Rad. and Isotopes. (In press.) TIMBS, M. C. (1973). The role of the graduate in science and industry. Atom ic Energy in Aust., 16( 1): 11-13.


TINGATE, G. A. (1973). Some geometrical properties of packings of equal spheres in cylindrical vessels. Nucl. Eng. and Design, 24:153-179. VEEVERS, K., SNOWDEN, K. U. (1973). Strain-ageing, of quenched Zircaloy-2. J. Nucl. Mat. (In press.)

WATT, J. S. (1973). Current status and potential of radioisotope X-ray and nuclear techniques for on-line analysis of mineral process streams. Paper presented at Aust. Min. Ind. Res. Assoc. Ltd and W.A. School of Mines, On-Stream Analysis Review Meeting, Kalgoorlie, 19-28 May. WATT, J. S„ FOOKES, R. A., GRAVITIS, V. L. (1972). Radioisotope X-ray

techniques for the on-stream determination of low concentrations of copper, zinc, tin and lead in mineral slurries. Paper presented at IAEA Symposium on the Use of Nuclear Techniques in the Basic Metal Industries, Helsinki, August. WATT, J. S., GRAVITIS, V. L. (1973). Radioisotope X-ray fluorescence techniques

applied to on-stream analysis of mineral process streams. Paper presented at Int. Symp. on Automatic Control in Mining, Mineral and Metal Processing, University of New South Wales, 13-17 August.

WATT, J. S. *HOWARTH, W. J. (1972). Mineral processing methods and on-stream analysis in Australian mineral processing plants. Paper presented at the IAEA Symp. on the Use of Nuclear Techniques in the Basic Metal Industries, Helsinki, August. (*Aust. Min. Dev. Labs.) WATT, J. S„ *HOWARTH, W. J. (1973). Mineral processing methods and on-stream

analysis in Australian processing plants. Atom ic Energy in Aust., 16(2) :6-13. (*Aust. Min. Dev. Labs.) WILLS, P. A., CLOUSTON, J. G„ GERRATY, N. L. (1972). Microbiological and entomological aspects of the food irradiation program in Australia. Paper

presented at the IA EA /FA O Symp. on Radiation Preservation of Food, Bombay.

WILSON, P. W. (1973). The preparation and properties of uranium oxide tetratiuoride. J. Inorg. Nucl. Chem. (In press.) WOOD, N., GILLESPIE, P. (1972). Ytterbium-169 sources for industrial radiography —Production and practical use. Paper presented at the 3rd Ann. Conf. of the

Non-Destructive Testing Assoc, of Australia, Adelaide, 14-16 August.


AAEC/E Series

AAEC (1972). Papers presented to the AAEC Symposium on Uranium Processing, Lucas Heights, 20-21 July. AAEC/E238. AAEC (1973). Proceedings of the AAEC Symposium on Environmental and Radio­ logical Safety Aspects of the Mining and Processing of Uranium, Lucas Heights,

9-10 December i971. AAEC/E272. ALFREDSON, P. G. (1972). Pilot plant development of processes for the production of nuclear grade uranium oxide. AAEC/E245. ANGUS, W. A. (1972). AAEC modifications and additions to the IBM360 operating

system. AAEC/E235. BACKSTROM, R. P„ SANGER, P. L. (1973). IBM360 and NOVA software developed to allow plotter output to be displayed on the Tektronix T4002 graphical display terminal. AAEC/E263.

BARRY, J. M. (1972). AESYNTAX— A Fortran syntax analysis system for the PDP9L. AAEC/E251. BARRY, J. M. (1973). SPLINS and SMOOTH—Two Fortran smoothing routines. AAEC/E253.

BERZINS, A., EVANS, J. V., LOWSON, R. T. (1973). Corrosion of aluminium in pure water and dilute solutions. AAEC/E270.

BULL, P. S., EVANS, J. V. (1973). Cation-exchange removal of copper from ammoniacal aqueous solution. AAEC/E259.


BULL, P. S„ EVANS, J. V.. NICHOLSON, F. D. (1973). The performance of

powdered ion-exchange resins. AAfcC/E25S. COSTELLO, J. M„ LEVINS, D. M. (1973). Reduction of capital costs in reprocessing power reactor fuels: A design study. A A EC/E275. (In press.) COX, G. W. (1972). POP 11 ASM and PDP1 1 SIM— A PDP1 1 assembler and a PDP1 I

simulator to run on an IBM360 computer. AAEC/E243. DURANCE, G., McCULLOCH, D. B. (1972). A comparison of measured and calculated -:',8U /- 3r,U fission rate ratios for natural UOL , rod cluster fuel elements in the ZERLINA reactor. A A EC/E236.

ELLIS, W. R., GREGORY, J. N„ CRIVELLI, R. L. (1973). Survey on the use of radioisotopes in Australia in 1970-71. A A EC/E285. (In press.) FLORENCE, T. M„ PAKALNS, P„ DALE, L. S. (1972). Comparative survey of methods for the determination of uranium in ores. AAEC/E237.

HANNA, G. L., REEVE, K. D. (1973). High burnup irradiation testing of spherical beryllium oxide based fuel elements for a conceptual high temperature air-cooled reactor. AAEC/E239. HAYES, I. J. (1973). AEJCL— A JCL Syntax checking facility. AAEC/E256. HETHERINGTON, E. L. R. (1973). The radiation dose incurred from the

administration of Skeltec. A A EC/E247. HOGG, G. R. (1973). The dense plasma focus as a pulsed deuterium-tritium neutron source. AAEC/E279. HOGG, G. R., TENDYS, J. (1973). Some X-ray and neutron measurements on the

dense plasma focus. AAEC/E280. JOHNSON, Susan (1972). Macros to simulate Fortran I/O in assembler programs. AAEC/E248. JOHNSTONE, I. L. (1973). AEUPDATE— An editor designed to allow sequential

and partitioned data sets to be updated. AAEC/E267. LAWSON, E. M., TAVENDALE, A. J. (1973). Behaviour of high purity semi­ conductor surface-barrier radiation detectors at low temperatures. AAEC/E260. LEVINS, D. M., ALFREDSON, P. G. (1973). Performance of a thermosiphon

evaporator for concentration of uranyl nitrate solutions. AAEC/E278. McANENY, R. S. (1973). Design of irradiation experiments for materials testing reactors. AAEC/E252. MELLER, E„ HEUER. P. M„ BRADHURST, D. H. (1972). A metallographic

study of the structure of oxide layers on zirconium alloys. AAEC/E241. "MOO, S. P„ RAINBOW, Μ. T„ RITCHIE, A. I. M. (1973). Time dependent -37Np, -35U and 28!lPu fission rates in a thorium assembly during the interval to 200 ns using a pulsed "Be (d,n) source. Part 1— Experiment. AAEC/E254.

( "University of Tasmania, Hobart.) MUSGROVE, A. R. de L. (1973). A compilation of s and p wave neutron strength function data. AAEC/E277. POLLARD, J. P. (1973). AUS MODULE POW— A general purpose 0, 1, and 2D,

multigroup neutron diffusion code including feedback-free kinetics. AAEC/E269. (In press.) PRICE, G. H., STUART, W. I. (1973). Thermal decomposition of ammonium uranates. AAEC/E276. (In press.) RAMM, E. J., WEBB, C. E. (1973). An assessment of some organic binders for

the fabrication of uranium dioxide fuel pellets. AAEC/E250. RING, R., ROYSTON, D. (1973). A review of fluorine cells and fluorine production facilities. AAEC/E28 1. ROYSTON, D., BURWELL, A. (1973). The design and performance of pump-mix

and gravity-flow mixer-settlers. AAEC/E274. RICHARDSON, D. J. (1973). Signalling conventions for the A A EC computer network. AAEC/E264. SANGER, P. L„ BACKSTROM, R. P. (1973). IBM360 and NOVA software

developed to give the NOVA computer access to the resources of the IBM360 computer. AAEC/E262.


SPINKS, N„ WILSON. D. J. ( 1973). TWIST— A numerical technique for calculating the steady-state mass fraction variation in an axi-symmetric binary gas mixture subjected to pressure gradients. A A EC/E261. .

TAYLOR, J. C., WILSON, P. W. (1973). The structures of fluorides - II. The

structure of uranyl fluoride. AAEC/E255. TAYLOR, J. C., COX, G. W. (1973). A modified version of the Busing-Martin-Levy least squares program for the direct fitting of structures to powder diffraction patterns by the method of profile analysis. AAEC/E257.

TIGHE, L. E. (1972). A computer-to-computer data link for a PDP7 and POP 15. AAEC/E249. TINGATE, G. A. (1973). Some geometrical properties of packings of equal spheres in cylindrical vessels. Part V— Adaptation of model to packings in cylindrical

vessels. AAEC/E234. WATT, J. S. (1972). Effect of variations of entrained air in mineral slurries on the precision of on-stream analysis using radioisotope X-ray techniques. AAEC/E244.

AAEC/TM Series*

BACKSTROM, R. P. (1972). PDPCOPY—An interactive PDP9L tape translation and analysis program. AAEC/TM623. BACKSTROM, R. P. (1972). AAEARITH—Multiple precision arithmetic routines for the IBM360 Fortran user. AAEC/TM633. CLAYTON, E. (1972). Thermal capture cross sections and resonance integrals for

the AAEC fission product library. A A EC/TM 619. COOK, J. L. (1972). Solutions of the relativistic two-body problem. Part II— Quantum mechanics. A A E C /T M 602. HESPE, E. D., HARDY, C. J. (1972). Management of wastes from irradiated nuclear

fuels. AAEC/TM628. HESSE, E. W. (1972). Examination of design methods for calculating power distributions in batch fuelled reactors. A A E C /T M 630. ILIC, V. (1973). The AAEC Freon rig ACTOR and initial boiling crisis (burnout)

results. AAEC/TM632. JOSTSONS, A., HANNA. G. L„ BLAKE, R„ MELLER, E. ( 1973). Examination of the failure of a ten-inch aluminium liner in the reactor HIFAR. AAEC/TM618. LOWSON, R, T. (1972). Correlations and conventions for the thermodynamic

properties of aqueous ions. A A E C/T M 622. *MOO, S. P„ RAINBOW, M„ RITCHIE, A. I. M. (1973). Applications of the pulsed neutron technique to fast metal systems. AAEC/TM613. (* University of Tasmania.)

PORRITT, R. E. J.. KELLY, J. W. (1972). Tables of energies of alpha-emitting nuclides for use in alpha spectrometry. A A E C /T M 631. RITCHIE, A. I. M. (1973). The suitability of various accelerator types as neutron sources for pulsed experiments in fast reactor assemblies. AAEC/TM620. SMITH, R. ( 1972). Effective research and development in the Government sector.

AAEC/TM629. SPINKS. N. (1972). A comparison between the computer codes OWEN and TOSCLE in a calculation of two-phase flow stability. A A E C /T M 621. URQUHART. D. F. (1973). The gamma-ray spectra of uranium and thorium ores

by high resolution ( G e ( L i) ) spectrometry. AAEC/TM634. WATSON, G. M. (1972). Environmental hazards of fossil and nuclear power production. AAEC/TM627. WHATHAM. J. (1973). Estimated heat outputs obtainable from spherical ceramic

fuel elements in a pebble bed reactor. AAEC/TM614.

:Note: This series has now been discontinued.


AAEC (SP) Series

CRAWFORD, R. E. (1972). World energy resources, supply and demand to 2000 A.D. AAEC(SP)R9. SOUTH, S. A. (1972). Uranium mining industry review, 1971-72. AAEC(SP) N M 1972-2.


The following patent applications were lodged during 1972-1973:

Australia— Provisional

J. S. WATT. A method and apparatus for separation of X-rays of different energy— PB 655. Dated 29 September 1972.

M. THACKRAY, Photo-etching and photogravure with fission fragment and alpha-ray etch tracks from toned photographs— PB 2868. Dated 4 April 1973. F. C. HUNT. Technetium 99m labelled tetracyclines—PB 3028. Dated 17 April 1973.

Australia and O verseas— Complete

V. E. CHURCH, H. J. FRASER, R. W. MATTHEWS. An improved dosimeter for use in the megarad range (Prov. PA 6741 of 21 October 1971). Australia

47797/72 of 16 October 1972. Canada 154392 of 20 October 1972. France 7237352 of 20 October 1972. Federal Republic of Germany P 2251474.5 of 20 October 1972. Japan 104887/1972 of 21 October 1972. Netherlands 72.14270

of 20 October 1972. Sweden 13355/72 of 17 October 1972. UK 48812/72 of 23 October 1972. USA 300407 of 20 October 1972. J. ROBSON. Process for the production of Tc-99m from neutron irradiated molybdenum trioxide (Prov. PA 6121 of 31 August 1971). Japan 85901/1972 of 29 August

1972. Sweden 10868/72 of 22 August 1972. UK 40273/72 of 30 August 1972. USA 284868 of 30 August 1972. W. T. SPRAGG, B. W. SEATONBERRY. Process for the absolute measurement of gas flow (Prov. PA 8410 of 24 March 1972). Australia 53477 of 19 March

1973. Japan 34009/1973 of 24 March 1973. UK 14011 of 22 March 1973. USA 344034 of 22 March 1973. T. DAVIDSON, E. J. RAMM. Fabrication process for nuclear fuel pellets (Prov. PA 8593 of 13 April 1972). Canada 168494 of 11 April 1973. UK 17277

of 10 April 1973.


P R I N T E D BY L A N D P R I N T E R S P T Y . L T D . L I D C O M B E , N .S .W .