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Uranium workers left off radiation radar

Uranium mine workers in the Northern Territory have not been included in the National Radiation Dose Register, the Australian Greens revealed today.

Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam uncovered the loophole during Senate Estimates hearings today while quizzing representatives from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).

"On July 1, 2010, the register began collecting data on the radiation doses to which workers had been exposed. Covering five years, the register now has 16,000 individuals on the database but has no information on the radiation workers have been exposed to at the Ranger Mine in the Northern Territory," said Senator Ludlam.

"The Australian National Radiation Dose Register was an election policy for Labor in 2007 and it is a great initiative despite being 30 years overdue. The system records the lifetime radiation dose of workers throughout their career in uranium mining and milling in Australia, enabling workers to access their own dose histories and notifying regulators when an individual has exceeded their annual dose limit, but excluding work in the Northern Territory is a huge crack in the system."

"The system will only have integrity if all radiation workers are included. The Commonwealth has handballed the problem to the NT Government - we will pursue this issue until all workers are included."

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302



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