NT News: Site full of Ranger Danger. ERA report identifies 35 dodgy assets

Publish Date:
28th March 2014

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AN in-house investigation into a tank failure at Ranger uranium mine has found 35 near-failures on assets around the site. The Energy Resources Australia tank ruptured and spilt a million litres of  radioactive acidic slurry to spill into Kakadu National Park on December 7. 

ERA chief executive Andrea Sutton said the in-house report on the incident, released yesterday, showed the protective rubber lining inside the tank had been damaged by a baffle plate which had partially failed inside the tank. A baffle plate regulates the movement of liquid in the tank. “A total of seven critical actions were recommended to be performed prior to the restart of processing operations,” the statement said. “The report recommended a further 28 actions be performed on specific assets or systems prior to those assets or systems being returned to service. Except for those actions relating to assets or systems which are not required to run the processing plant, all of these recommended actions will be implemented prior to the restart of processing operations.” 

Environment Centre NT antinuclear campaigner Lauren Mellor said mine regulation was “completely inadequate”. 
“There were 35 failed assets or assets on the brink of failure,” she said. “It means they’ve been playing Russian roulette with Kakadu National Park.  
“ It was only a matter of time It was only a matter of time before it could have been any one of those. “It took the full collapse of the leech tank before we knew the extent of the damage. “There’s 35 glaringly obvious reasons why this mine should not be given an extended life.”