Nasty radiation accident to clean-up worker at Ranger uranium mine

AUDIO Worker ‘fell in’ to radioactive slurry pit, ABC Radio AM Michael Coggan reported this story on Saturday, December 14, 2013  

SIMON SANTOW: The operators of the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory are facing fresh allegations they are cutting corners on safety.

A worker told his union he sunk up to his armpits into radioactive slurry while helping to clean up a massive toxic spill caused by the collapse of part of the mine’s processing plant last weekend.

The company that runs the mine, Energy Resources of Australia, says it can’t confirm the workplace accident and is checking the validity of the claim.    Michael Coggan reports from Darwin.

MICHAEL COGGAN: When a 1,400 cubic metre leach tank at the Ranger uranium mine fell apart last Saturday, workers had to evacuate to avoid being hit by the mixture of sulphuric acid and uranium it was holding…….

BRYAN WILKINS: I received a message from a worker out at Ranger this afternoon that another worker there was walking on top of the spill area. It’s got a crust on it now. He fell through it, was in to the waste up to his armpits. He was taken to first aid, told to have a shower and get back to work. The worker refused to go back to work, so Ranger put him on a plane and sent him home? MICHAEL COGGAN: What does that say about the safety of the mine site?

BRYAN WILKINS: I think this is fairly typical of safety on that mine site. And it goes to show when the minister said the mine was safe the other day, he obviously wasn’t right. There still are safety issues on that site, and there needs to be that full independent inquiry that we called for…….http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2013/s3911651.htm

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