AW: [ RadSafe ] Ranger Mine Northern Territory, Australia

Franz Schönhofer franz.schoenhofer at
Sat Nov 24 18:12:22 CST 2007

Dear Björn, Mark, Maury, Dan, John, Steven and other RADSAFErs interested,

A comment on an Australian issue from Austria ("no kangoroos"). 

I have a personal connection to the Ranger Mine, because many years ago I
visited it, following a conference in Adelaide on Environmental
Radioactivity and an invitation by Paul Martin who was then in charge of
surveillance of the environmental impact of the mine on behalf of the
Supervising Scientist. Needless to say, that I later had a lot of contacts
with the then Supervising Scientist in the course of the IAEA-coordinated
International Mururoa Project. I can assure you that both of them were and
are top scientists and even more important they are honest and straight
forward in their judgement. 

Yes, Mark, the environmental surveillance was of absolutely high scientific
level. It even covered many isotopes which are very difficult to determine.
Even more than from my own memory this might be demonstrated by the PhD
Thesis of Paul Martin titled "Radiological impact assessment of uranium
mining and milling" 1999, Queeensland University of Technology, which "I
happen to know in detail". 

The "story" distributed seems to be like all the many similar ones: Data of
a very low number of cases, not considering cofounding factors are
"analyzed". I remember that Paul Martin has carefully considered pathways
for ingestions, even taking fresh-water mussles into account as a
traditional nutrition of aborigines. For more details, please consult the

In order to live up to my reputation of being nasty I'd like to state that
the combination of "uranium", "nuclear fuel", "cancer" and "indigenous
people killed by the nuclear industry" is something that obviously some
groups cannot resist to propagate. Though I found by following Maurys advice
and looking for the first 20 or 30 hits of "ranger, cancer, uranium,
aborigines" several links to articles opposing the findings of this

Best regards,


Franz Schoenhofer, PhD
MinRat i.R.
Habicherg. 31/7
A-1160 Wien/Vienna

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] Im Auftrag
von Mark Sonter
Gesendet: Samstag, 24. November 2007 11:06
An: radsafe at
Betreff: [ RadSafe ] Re: radsafe Digest, Vol 121, Issue 5

Ranger Uranium Mine, Northern Territory, Australia, commenced operation 
1979.  Produces about 5,000 tpa U3O8. Open pit, 0.3% U3O8 grade.

Gotta say from direct knowledge that the Project Increment radiation at 
the fenceline is too small to measure directly and is modelled to be a 
tiny fraction of Natural Background. Nearest population centres are 
Jabiru about 15 km to west and Mudginberri about 10 km to north.

Said to be the most monitored and supervised indeed invigilated mining 
operation in the world.

Mark Sonter

Radiation Advice & Solutions Pty Ltd,   abn 31 891 761 435
Asteroid Enterprises Pty Ltd,   abn 53 008 115 302

116 Pennine Drive
South Maclean
Queensland 4280

Phone / fax  (07) 3297 7653

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