by The Australian –
AUSTRALIA (January 23, 2004) — The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will keep secret its team of experts visiting South Australia’s proposed site for the first national radioactive waste dump.
The IAEA has revealed the radiation experts who are inspecting the site near Woomera are from the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Hungary but has not disclosed their itinerary.
“We don’t think that’s a necessary bit of information in the public domain,” an IAEA spokesman told ABC radio.”We want these people to be able to work freely and to offer the most objective assessment.”
SA Environment Minister John Hill called for the Federal Government to lift the secrecy. “How can anybody have confidence in the process if those who are making determinations and giving advice aren’t known?” he said. “It’s absolutely imperative for the Federal Government to let the public know who’s going to be on that panel so that we can have confidence that they will do a fair job.”
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency chief executive officer John Loy said the panel would provide a report on the location, construction and operation of the proposed dump. “My Act certainly says I have to take into account international best practice so I have to know what it is and obviously the team will be in a very good position to advise exactly what international best practice is and their view of whether the application meets it,” Dr Loy said.