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Minchin answers on ANSTO accidents provide little comfort.

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Dee Margetts

Senator for Western Australia, The Greens (WA)




24 March 1999


Despite Senator Minchin’s bland assurances in response to a question from Greens (WA) Senator Dee Margetts today, the community in the vicinity of the Lucas Heights nuclear research reactor has little reason to feel comfortable.


“My question followed community representations to my office in relation to three serious accidents at the Lucas Heights facility in recent months”, Senator Margetts stated.


“Community representatives had been alerted to these incidents by employees at the nuclear reactor who are obviously concerned about their safety.”


“One of the key concerns for the community are the incidents in which radioactive gases were released into the atmosphere when the filter system was ‘inadvertently’ bypassed.”


“People living in the surrounding suburbs must be concerned that the releases happened and that they were not informed by ANSTO authorities.”


“The other incident, which involved the dropping of a spent nuclear fuel rod raises serious concerns about the preparations for the forthcoming transport of these rods through the streets of Sydney en route to France for reprocessing and


for the safety of ANSTO employees.”


“I await the report of the new regulatory authority, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Authority with great interest”, Senator Margetts concluded.


For comment: Dee Margetts 02 6277 3599 or Alan Carter 0412 451 938