Wednesday, July 21, 2010

High radiation levels 'more than hundred times' safe level at Wiluna mine / Gov't to probe Wiluna radiation levels

Comment: One government agency said the uranium explorations site was cleanup but they lied....So what is the real truth and just think about the claims that was told to VA senators who went to France to a so called uranium mine restoration site, did they take Geiger counters or take samples of the water. Also the local/Canadian company did core samples at Coles Hill, so have our water and soil been contaminated with uranium....maybe.....we have high Geiger counts around disturb soils in our county! No to uranium mining and milling!

Gov't to probe Wiluna radiation level


The West Australian
July 21, 2010, 5:25 pm

The Department of Mines and Petroleum has launched an investigation into claims by a Greens MP of dangerously high radiation levels around a former uranium exploration site near the Goldfields mining town of Wiluna.

Greens MP Robin Chapple recently visited two sites at Lake Way, a former uranium exploration site about 20km south east of Wiluna, where he claims he recorded abnormally high levels of radiation on his Geiger counter, alleging that one reading was 100 times higher than normal radiation levels.

A spokesman for Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said in a statement that while Mr Chapple had not officially informed the Minister or the department about his claims, they would be investigated.

It is understood that similar claims about an area near Kalgoorlie were made earlier this year, but a Department investigation, ordered by Mr Moore, had revealed the claims were erroneous.

"The Department of Mines and Petroleum will act with similar alacrity regarding Mr Chapple's claims and provide the Minister with urgent advice on this issue," he said.

In 2000, Lake Way became the focus of a State Government investigation into claims of dangerous radiation levels, but its findings concluded that levels were safe.

The site, which was a uranium tenement in the 1980s, was explored by mining company CSR but never mined.

Mr Chapple said when he visited Lake Way less than two weeks ago, there was evidence of previous uranium exploration which was supposed to be cleaned up after the investigation ten years ago.

"Both sites had exposed ore left on the surface as a result of the ground disturbing activities associated with exploration work," he said.

"It is quite clearly a problem for the Government who said in 2000 that they would send people out there to clean up the site- well, clearly it hadn't been.

Mr Chapple said at one of the spots where he conducted radiation tests at the Lake Way site, the highest reading he recorded was 10.25 microSieverts per hour, which he said was more than 100 times higher than normal radiation levels.

High radiation levels 'more than hundred times' safe level at Wiluna mine

Narelle Towie
July 21, 2010 3:52PM

RADIATION levels more than 100 times normal background readings have been recorded at an old uranium site, despite the area being "cleaned" a decade ago.

Greens MP Robin Chapple said radiation at the former uranium exploration site, near the Lake Way, 11km from Wiluna, peaked at 143 times the normal range for that area last week.

Wiluna is 950km north-east of Perth.

“Both sites had exposed ore left on the surface as a result of ground disturbing activities associated with exploration work dating back to the 1980s when CSR had the tenement leases,” Mr Chapple said.

Rusting drums containing low-grade uranium were buried in the area in 2000 by officials from the Department of Minerals and Energy after fears were raised by Wiluna Aborigines that they were being exposed to the deadly ore.

At the time, Mines Minister Norman Moore said the area had been "cleaned up to the standards required by the State Mining Engineer and the Radiological Council".

But at one of the sites this week, levels were detected at 7.150 microSieverts per hour of alpha radiation, well above ambient radiation levels worldwide, which are between 0.05 and 0.12 uSv/hr.

“Some bits have been cleaned up but others have just been flattened and they are equally as contaminated now, as they were then,” Mr Chapple said.

“Quite clearly they hadn’t gone over the site and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some other areas out there which are equally as contaminated.”

Mr Chapple said the area was still highly radioactive with a second location discovered this week just 300m away.

Mr Moore is out of town and was unable to comment on the issue.
“Mr Chapple has not officially made the Minister or the DMP aware of excessive radiation in the area at this point in time.”

Australian Greens Senator for WA Rachel Siewert has used the site to highlight the dangers of uranium mining.

"As the Australian Uranium Summit kicks off, it is crucial that West Australians get the full story,” Ms Siewert said.

“Uranium mining and nuclear power is not clean, it is not safe and it is not cheap.”

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