Friday, October 01, 2004
Uranium Mine Poisons it's Workers
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that:
Northern Territory Government regulators had threatened to shut the Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu National Park one month before workers drank water contaminated with uranium, a just-released report reveals.
The mine had a backlog of six months' maintenance work and regulators had become so frustrated with lack of safety and other problems they issued the warning to its operator, Energy Resources Australia Limited in February, the report says.
The report by the Northern Territory Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development into a leak at the mine on March 23 also reveals that 149 workers were exposed to water contaminated with levels of uranium 400 times greater than the maximum Australian safety standard.
There have been 120 safety breaches since the mine opened thirteen years ago. Doctors have been unable to tell the workers what the health consequences will be "because nobody had ever before drunk so much uranium."
I think they could make an educated guess.