• 08 JUL 11
    • 0

    ARPANSA being investigated for “improper relationship” with nuclear agency

    So, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency is being investigated for being in a nice cozy relationship with the nuclear industry regulator (and promoter) that has endangered nuclear safety. No surprise to those who have been seeing ARPANSA being too close to other industry sectors. How about widening the investigation to include how ARPANSA rammed the telcom’s favoured RF standard through after it failed to be passed by Standards Australia? (Chapter 5 of my thesis) And how about the current ARPANSA working group that has been trying to ram through a new power frequency standard that increases acceptable exposure limits by a factor of three – apparently to accommodate the MRI sector?

    Unfortunately at ARPANSA, pandering to vested interests – be it for ionizing or non-ionizing radiation matters appears to be just part of the job description.

    Don

    From the ABC News:

    Nuclear regulator ‘too close’ to ANSTO
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/07/07/3264086.htm

    8 July 2011

    A review of Australia’s nuclear industry regulator, ARPANSA, has found an improper relationship with the main agency it monitors.

    The Health Department’s audit and fraud control branch has been investigating how ARPANSA handled allegations of safety breaches and bullying at the nation’s only nuclear reactor in Sydney. Whistleblowers had alleged ARPANSA was too close to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), which runs the Lucas Heights research facility.
    The whistleblowers claimed that safety reports were being compromised.
    The Health Department review also questioned ARPANSA’s impartiality.
    Greens Senator Scott Ludlam told ABC1’s Lateline the review vindicates the whistleblowers.”The whistleblowers were right and the people who have been raising concerns about practices with these hazardous materials were right to raise their concerns,” he said. “It also tells us the regulator and the regulated were too close.”

    The Federal Government is now reviewing ARPANSA’s regulatory powers, with Thursday’s report recommending they be strengthened if necessary.

    And from March 30, 2011

    Nuclear regulator investigated over safety review
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/30/3178186.htm
    Mar 30, 2011

    Australia’s nuclear industry regulator, ARPANSA, is under review over its handling of safety breaches at the nation’s only nuclear reactor.

    Last year, ABC 1’s Lateline revealed allegations of serious safety and operational breaches at the Lucas Height’s reactor in Sydney, which were later backed up by Australia’s workplace regulator, COMCARE. A departmental investigation was launched by Science Minister Kim Carr last month, but now a party to that investigation – ARPANSA – is itself under review.
    The Chief Auditor is investigating how ARPANSA handled the original allegations of safety breaches and bullying at the nuclear site.
    ARPANSA last year released two conflicting reports on the claims at the Lucas Heights facility.

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