QUESTION NUMBER 362
SENATOR LUDLAM asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing, upon notice, on 17 November 2010:
With reference to the resolution passed at the September 2010 Congress of the Nobel Peace Prize winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in Basel, Switzerland, calling for an end to uranium mining on human rights and public health grounds stating:
‘Uranium ore mining and the production of uranium oxide (yellowcake) are irresponsible and represent a grave threat to health and to the environment. Both processes involve an elementary violation of human rights and their use lead to an incalculable risk for world peace and an obstacle to nuclear disarmament.
The International Council of IPPNW therefore resolves that:
IPPNW call for appropriate measures to ban uranium mining worldwide.
(1) Has the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency made, or been requested to make, any analysis of this development.
(2) What is the view of the Minister or the department on this position.
SENATOR LUDWIG - The Minister for Health and Ageing has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:
(1) No, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has not commenced, nor has it been requested to make, an analysis of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) recent resolution in relation to uranium mining. ARPANSA is however engaged, as part of its core functions under the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998, in assessing the radiological impacts of Uranium mining on the health of mine workers, including through the Australian National Radiation Dose Register, as well as the effects of uranium mining on the environment.
(2) The Department of Health and Ageing supports the current program of ARPANSA to assess the radiological impacts of uranium mining on health of people and the protection of the environment.