Review confirms bullying and coverup at Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
N-plant spill probe ‘seriously flawed’ BY: LEIGH DAYTON, SCIENCE WRITER The Australian July 18, 2012 A DAMNING review by global consultant KPMG has again highlighted safety and bullying concerns at Australia’s nuclear facility.
The review by KPMG’s forensic unit was conducted for the national regulator, the Australian Radiation Protection & Nuclear Safety Agency, and obtained by The Australian yesterday.
It found an ARPANSA investigation into a September 2007 contamination incident at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation involving radioactive Yttrium-90 was seriously flawed.
The review concludes at least three staff working in the radiopharmaceutical production facility were contaminated and it’s
likely some sought to cover it up to “save face”.
The report details disturbing interviews: “(Redacted) stated that
around 10.00am on 3 September 2007 he was changing out of his ‘scrubs’
in the change room when (redacted) entered the change room. He asked
(redacted) if he was contaminated and (redacted) replied, ‘Bloody shut
up . . . just be quiet’.” ARPANSA’s inspectors failed to examine key
records and, at the behest of ANSTO, dismissed the testimony of David
Reid, the staff-elected health and safety officer at the time of the
incident, according to KPMG.
Mr Reid was suspended in June 2009 after going public with accusations
of safety breaches, cover-ups and bullying. He was sacked in June
“The review proves I was right and ANSTO has gone to great lengths to
hide serious safety problems,” he said.
Last March Mr Reid lodged a claim against ANSTO in Federal Magistrates
Court in Sydney, alleging bullying, harassment and abuse following his
attempt to raise safety concerns. The matter will go to court ordered
mediation this month.
Mr Reid also filed a complaint yesterday with the Therapeutic Goods
Administration, claiming that between 2007 and 2010 ANSTO falsified
batch records on radiopharmaceuticals used to treat conditions such as
cancer. The KPMG review contains evidence to that effect….
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