Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency secretive about reports

Other incidents related to unexplained high doses recorded by three mining company employees, radioactive contamination of drinking water at a uranium mine

Radiation reports are sadly lacking Karen Dearn, The Australian, 16 Oct 10,

THE Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, the nation’s peak radiation safety body, has failed to publish annual critical incident reports for the past six years, despite commitments to do so.

The inaction by the nation’s peak radiation safety body comes as nuclear medicine errors have been identified as a significant risk to patients, and despite the priority placed on promoting safer use of radioactive products in the federal budget. Only one edition of the yearly Australian Radiation Incident Register, for 2004, has been released and that was in October 2007.

Publication of the summary reports has been discussed many times by ARPANSA’s two health and safety committees in recent years, as a means of improving safe work and handling practices and general awareness of risks.

……..Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council  agreed that an active reporting system needs to be investigated and reporting of incidents needs to be more consistent.”…..

ARPANSA received increased funding to $25.7 million for radiation protection and nuclear safety programs……………… “While beneficial medically, diagnostic imaging procedures are the largest man-made source of ionising radiation exposure.

………The only available ARIR report points to the concerns. In 2004, 85 radiation incidents were reported to the ARIR, with 33 relating to nuclear medicine errors. Of these, 18 involved the patient being given the wrong radiopharmaceutical for a scan; eight cases were dispensing errors and three were because of incorrectly labelled syringes. A further six cases occurred because of identity mix-ups.

“It appears that checking procedures prior to administration were inadequate,” it notes.

Two incidents involved wrong dosages.

Sixteen diagnostic radiology incidents involved patients being given unnecessary or unplanned CT scans or X-rays because of wrong patient ID stickers placed on request forms…..

Other incidents related to unexplained high doses recorded by three mining company employees, radioactive contamination of drinking water at a uranium mine and trucks leaving a mine without being cleaned.

But without access to more recent information, it is impossible to gauge whether the nature or frequency of such events has changed for the better or for worse. It is also impossible to determine whether existing safety measures are adequate………..Radiation reports are sadly lacking | The Australian

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October 16, 2010 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies, uranium | , , , , , ,

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