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A study into the risk of transporting radioactive material to a proposed dump in Central Australia has found the waste should instead be dealt with where it's produced.
A team of Alice Springs doctors looked at the dangers of transporting low-level nuclear waste to Muckaty, near Tennant Creek.
The proposed dump at Muckaty could result in large-scale transport of radioactive materials through Alice Springs and other locations, said a co-author of the report, Dr Tom Keaney.
Dr Keaney, also a member of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, said road and rail accidents are higher in the Northern Territory than elsewhere in Australia.
"If it was coming down from Darwin in the wet and a truck overturned into a wet road or river, then there would be a wide dispersal of radioactive material," Dr Keaney said.
"We have to recognise the potential for exposure (to radioactive material) to individuals and communities," he said.
Storing radioactive material where it is produced was safer because there is appropriate technology, expertise and emergency response capacity to deal with it.
Dr Keaney said the qualitative study involved the doctors looking at published literature and reflecting on the findings.
The federal government has spruiked the importance of the nuclear dump, saying Australia has sought a site to house the waste since 1988.
Legislation to allow the dump at Muckaty to proceed cleared the lower house of federal parliament in February and debate on the issue is expected to resume in the Senate in February 2012.
A federal court challenge to the proposed waste dump is under way in Melbourne.
This article first appeared on au.news.yahoo.com
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