Uranium mining processing transport waste disposal industries in the nt
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Uranium mining, processing, transport & waste disposal industries in the NT. Reducing the Risk: What are we in the NT doing? MAPW Alice Springs 2007. Mining : are existing environmental policies & safeguards adequate?. Existing NT uranium mines

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Uranium mining, processing, transport & waste disposal industries in the NT

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Uranium mining, processing, transport & waste disposal industries in the NT

Reducing the Risk:

What are we in the NT doing?

MAPW Alice Springs 2007

O. Fried May 07


Mining : are existing environmental policies & safeguards adequate?

  • Existing NT uranium mines

    • Ranger, Jabiluka: discrepancies between regulations/monitoring & outcomes

  • NT environmental safeguards: captive to the needs of industry?

    • McArthur River Lead/Zinc Mine 2006/07

  • NT has a poor record on mine rehab

    • Rum Jungle uranium mine 1954/71

    • Redbank copper mine 1993/96

    • Mt. Todd gold mine 1994/97, 1999/00

O. Fried May 07


Olympic Dam Uranium and Copper Mine at Roxby Downs SA: an instructive case

  • Controversial since 1975

  • Bypass of existing legislation

  • Environmental impacts

    • Water use from Gt Artesian Basin, Mound Springs

  • Safety impacts

    • Tailings maintenance; Numerous incidents & spills

    • Miners exposed

    • No monitoring at Roxby

  • Cultural impacts

O. Fried May 07


Recent transport accidents:

Ghan derailment Dec 06

Road train cyanide spill Feb 07

Nuclear waste transport issues

Packaging

Training for handling

Accidental contamination

Preventing diversion

LLW

no special shielding

move by road/rail/sea in 200 litre drums

ILW

shielding, &

if >30 yr ½ life => improved handling and disposal

HLW

both shielding and cooling

Transport of nuclear materials – is it safe?

O. Fried May 07


Counter-disaster planning in the NT: Is it adequate?

  • NT Chemical, Biological and Radiological Disaster Response Plan is a ‘controlled document’

  • Focused on terrorism, not accidents

  • Dealing with hysteria?

O. Fried May 07


Monitoring of populations potentially at risk from nuclear industry development ?

  • Populations exposed to nuclear bomb testing

    • French Polynesia – Maralinga and Fangatuafa atolls

    • Australian Maralinga vets study

    • NZ Operation Grapple vets study

  • NT Study: Aboriginal people living near Ranger uranium mine

    • No follow-up research

  • NT Cancer Registry? Not adequate/ focused

O. Fried May 07


What’s needed?

  • [well, stopping any expansion of nuclear industries…]

  • Procedures – rigor, transparency and accountability – is that enough?

    • Mining, transport, processing….

    • handling, education, packaging….

  • Counter-disaster planning – a public discourse?

  • Health monitoring – start now?

O. Fried May 07


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