Senate debates

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Questions on Notice

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Question No. 2396)

Photo of Scott LudlamScott Ludlam (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

asked the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, upon notice, on 31 October 2012:

(1) Has the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) conducted any breath monitoring in Australia to determine radioactive body load and to provide an estimate of the cost of mandatory monitoring at 6-month intervals for every exposed worker.

(2) What was the fate of waste generated by ANSTO and any associated university laboratories in the generation of Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6).

(3) How much of the generated waste is stored.

Photo of Chris EvansChris Evans (WA, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) No. Given the radionuclides used at ANSTO, monitoring of breath to determine a potential radioactive intake would not be useful. Instead, ANSTO undertakes routine monitoring of workers using a Whole Body Monitor.

(2) ANSTO does not generate UF6. Questions regarding waste generated by university laboratories should be directed to the relevant university.

(3) Negligible amounts of waste from generation of UF6 produced by ANSTO's predecessor agency, the Australian Atomic Energy Commission, is held within ANSTO's Waste Storage Facilities.