Doctors take Toro Energy to school on the dangers of radiation
Greens nuclear policy spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. May 1st, 2012
The Australian Greens welcomed today’s call from the Medical Association for Prevention of War for uranium miners Toro Energy to stop promoting the view that low-level radiation is beneficial to human health.
The Greens nuclear policy spokesperson, WA Senator Scott Ludlam, said Toro’s plans to mine uranium at Wiluna, Western Australia, should be abandoned.
“Toro Energy has sponsored a number of speaking tours by Dr Doug Boreham, who promoted radiation as ‘anti-carcinogenic’ at the Paydirt uranium conference in Adelaide. It is little wonder that 45 Australian medical doctors have written to Toro calling on them to stop promoting this character and his dubious views.”
Dr Peter Karamoskos, a nuclear radiologist and public representative on the radiation health committee of ARPANSA – the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency – said "to promote such marginal views without any counter-balance is self-serving and irresponsible… Recent research has heightened rather than reduced concern about the adverse health impacts of low-level radiation”.
Senator Ludlam said Toro’s promotion of Dr Boreham’s views added to the serious questions hanging over their ambitions.
“Toro has no proven experience and is sitting on a low grade uranium deposit encased in calcrete which is notoriously difficult to process. Their Environmental Impact Statement for the Wiluna project is disturbingly incomplete. There are no calcrete uranium mines in Australia and Toro seems hell-bent on proving they are not fit to operate the first.”
Senator Ludlam pointed out Dr Harry Cohen’s concerns that Toro has sponsored ‘employee radiation training’ by Dr Boreham.
“Dr Cohen described this as ‘a dangerous and unacceptable situation’ and said promoting the view that radiation is safe ‘threatens to undermine the safety culture that underpins workplace safety in a potentially hazardous environment’ and ‘could threaten the health and welfare of mine workers’. This is a damning indictment on Toro Energy. Their Wiluna project should be halted immediately.”
Media contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302