Australian news, and some related international items

Radioactive transport accident New South Wales 1980

Let the Facts Speak: 1980, December 4 PORT MACQUARIE, AUSTRALIA
An accident near Port Macquarie involved a truck carrying a 60-litre drum labelled ‘danger radioactive – Americium 241’, plus a smaller container labeled ‘Caesium 137’ and foodstuffs. When Sydney police called the Atomic Energy Commission at Lucas Heights for advice, they were told to call back later ‘when the AEC opens’. Dr. John McKay of Port Macquarie claimed that 16 people who attended the accident are suffering from symptoms of radioactive poisoning.

Dr. McKay has accused the AEC of a cover-up regarding the dangers of the accident, and has claimed that this lack of concern may endanger the 8,000 people in nearby Laurieton if radiation poisons the town’s water supply. The NSW Minister for Public Health accused Dr. McKay of ‘causing public mischief’. The Minister said the Health Commission report had found that, although the protective containers of the radioactive material were damaged, both were considered to be safe with no spillage or leakage of radioactivity.
Sydney Morning Herald – 16 April 1981; Canberra Times – 11 March 1981; WISE Vol.3 No.3 June/July 1981 p.16; Canberra Times – 11 March 1981

April 18, 2012 - Posted by | history, New South Wales

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