DA asks UN watchdog to help with probe

2011-06-23 18:17

Cape Town - The DA will ask the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to investigate what has happened to more than 200 "radiation devices" that cannot be accounted for by the Directorate of Radiation Control.

"It emerged [at a parliamentary committee meeting on Wednesday] that the task team that was supposed to have been established by the directorate... to find the missing radiation sources, has met only once and made no gains in locating the devices," Democratic Alliance health spokesperson Mike Waters said in a statement on Thursday.

The directorate, which reports to the health minister, is responsible for regulating so-called radioactive nuclides, used for a variety of medical, scientific, agricultural, industrial and commercial purposes.

At a meeting of Parliament's health portfolio committee in November last year, MPs heard the directorate had "lost" 239 radiation filters, and was working on tracing them.

Waters said the failure of both the health department and the directorate to find the missing material had potentially placed the health and safety of South Africans at risk.

"Such pitiful progress indicates a lack of urgency on the part of the directorate and the task team, and calls into question why the department of health has not acted to improve this body's ability to fulfil its mandate.

"In yesterday's meeting of the health portfolio committee, it was revealed that South Africa is in contravention of its international obligations regarding radioactive material, failing to meet every aspect, 'bar one', of the IAEA's safety standards," he said.

The DA would now write to the international nuclear energy watch dog requesting an investigation.

"In response to the insufficient progress that has been made... in retrieving the unaccounted for radiation devices, I will today be writing to the IAEA to call for an investigation... into the state of the directorate, and to ask for the agency's assistance in locating the missing radiation sources," Waters said.

  • Palian - 2011-06-23 18:47

    The 4th Boer war is being fought, first against the Brits, the 2nd also, the 3rd on the SWA border, this one in country and they wonder where the devices are? Have they bothered to find the 140+ mini battlefield nukes we produced but did not surrender or dismantle in the early 90's? If you want them, come get them...

      GT - 2011-06-23 19:47

      its in your head boetie, its all in your head. The afrikaaners have to fight with something. You can put 2 best friends together, and a beer or brandy and they will box over something within the hour.

      James Weather - 2011-06-23 20:07

      Koeberg needs to be closed !!!!! South Africa should not risk a disaster while the country is going into a state of non-repair and corruption is rife. Just too risky with all these short cuts this government/eskom are taking. At least if a coal plant blows up it just a small localised damage. If a nuclear plant blows up we've got millions of hectares of land that will be unused for 100 of years? Do you trust eskom enough? Find 'Koeberg Alert Alliance' on facebook

      Xavier - 2011-06-23 22:35

      @jamesDONKEYweather Please go and educate yourself regarding nuclear plants....more people die from coal plants than from nuclear plants.

      James Weather - 2011-08-04 23:27

      @Imperialist-Xavier: cause there are like 1000 time more coal mines you idiot! 1 just ONE mess up at Koeberg and millions of people will be displaced! The Southern Cape (where i believe you from) will be sprinkled with radio active particles for hundreds and hundreds of years ... The wind direction blows that way. Who even says they dont have accidents every now and again that they dont report? Trust this government enough?

  • Gardener - 2011-06-23 18:48

    They "lost" it!! Why does so many things get lost in SA? Firearms, tanks money, dockets etc.!!

      Tony - 2011-06-23 19:02

      I dunno - I lost my mind!

  • SaintBruce - 2011-06-23 19:37

    Shocking ! Every day another foul up is uncovered. (note no exclamation mark - this is just the daily state of the nation). How 'broken' is South Africa ? Can it ever be fixed?

      paulf - 2011-06-24 06:58

      Not with JZ in charge. Time for change with educated people in government.

  • maseratifitt - 2011-06-23 19:40

    Maybe they are not lost at all. Just paid for but never received.

  • william.botha - 2011-06-23 19:44

    Its getting hot in here.

  • letsee - 2011-06-23 20:27

    It's true, South Africa is a Banana Republic and the ANC has no shame.

  • Grikie - 2011-06-23 20:52

    Things are getting 'lost' and run backwards. What do you expect from someone with a 10% smaller brain and 20% less IQ? Now this is a sad fact. How I hate Darwin . . .

      O'forth - 2011-06-23 21:25

      Ag don't worry Grikie Darwin did not think of you.

  • Julsie3 - 2011-06-23 21:24

    why the department of health has not acted to improve this body's ability to fulfil its mandate... We call it African Time...Hurry-up and wait!! If they ignore it long enough or don't take note it will all just "blow away"

  • Palian - 2011-06-23 22:15

    @GT 'its in your head boetie, its all in your head' Correct. Its called memory. And because I was one of the really proud soldiers in a really proud army with a really really proud nuclear development wing, I can attest that your statement i correct. But also, some simple advice to you. If you haven't yet done so, stop hanging out with the low class trash, be they whatever shade of grey, and buy some sunblock 20 0000 0000 because its going to get hot before it gets really hot. Have yourself a nice day now.

      LBS - 2011-06-24 17:50

      This could be good.... or this could be bad.....

      LBS - 2011-06-24 17:51

      Depending in whose hands it ended up with....

  • Jabulaniboy - 2011-06-24 00:27

    I know where these radiation devices are. May I give away a secret on here??? They are in Iran..........And we now have lots of bloody red crude oil.

  • pages:
  • 1