Title MARTAC report definitive work on Maralinga.
Database Press Releases
Date 02-05-2003
Author MCGAURAN, Peter
Citation Id GT796
Cover date Friday, 2 May 2003
Enrichment Maralinga Rehabilitation Technical Advisory Committee (MARTAC)
Format Online Text
In Government no
Item Online Text: 852494
Key item No
Major subject South Australia
Radioactive wastes
Minor subject Site remediation
Nuclear weapons tests
Committees and inquiries
MP no
Pages 2p.
Party NPA
Speech No
System Id media/pressrel/GT796

MARTAC report definitive work on Maralinga.

Media Release


2 May, 2003

Federal Science Minister Peter McGauran today said that critics of the Maralinga Rehabilitation Project would find all issues fully addressed in the Maralinga Rehabilitation Technical Advisory Committee (MARTAC) report.

“In March this year I released the definitive report on the Maralinga clean-up, written by an expert, independent scientific advisory panel,” Mr McGauran said.

“The Committee has laid all the facts on the table, explaining why the clean-up was undertaken the way it was. They concluded that the clean-up of the Maralinga site has achieved its goal, and that no further clean-up of the former test site will be required.

“I challenge the South Australian Government to state the technical basis for their criticism of the project.

“The South Australian Government was fully consulted on the clean-up, and has been involved with the Maralinga Consultative Group since prior to the commencement of the rehabilitation.

“The South Australian Government received draft copies of the MARTAC report prior to its publication, on which only minor comments were made – all of which were taken into consideration in the final document.

“The scope of the clean-up was agreed by the Commonwealth, South Australia and Maralinga Tjarutja.

“Further, the Commonwealth’s independent regulator, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), has found that possible radiation doses are well below those anticipated at the start of the project, and a restricted land-use boundary is purely a precautionary measure.

“The reason why in situ vitrification (ISV) of contaminated debris pits was abandoned is well documented in the MARTAC report – the decision was based on safety concerns and other difficulties in applying ISV at Maralinga.

The burial of contaminated debris was only agreed by ARPANSA after a risk assessment had been undertaken on the process and an outcome of the remedial action. All plutonium-contaminated material is buried under at least 5 metres of clean soil.

“Claims that buried contamination will leach are unfounded. The arid Maralinga environment will ensure that the contaminated material is isolated from the environment, and all trenches will continue to be monitored as part of the licence conditions for the site,” Mr McGauran said

The MARTAC report is available on the internet at http://www.dest.gov.au/radwaste/martac/

For further information contact Gemma Allman (Minister McGauran’s office): 02 6277 7440 or 0408 971 708