Maralinga - Alan Parkinson

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Australia's nuclear waste cover-up

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In April 2000, a $108 million clean-up of the former British A-bomb test site in outback South Australia was being wound up. It was declared a success and the Maralinga Tjarutja Aboriginal people were reassured that it would be safe to move back onto their lands.

It was claimed to be a world first, the biggest and most successful clean-up ever, but leaked documents show that behind the scenes the project had been increasingly troubled. Some key insiders, including the government's advisers, say that the job was never finished properly. In the process of the clean-up, Australia put large amounts of plutonium into several unlined, unguarded holes in the ground, the toxic waste blowing across the land in dusty clouds. the site is a devastating legacy to nuclear testing, not to mention the Aboriginal people who have been told it is safe to live there.

Alan Parkinson was the official adviser to the project, but after he voiced his concerns about the dangers of the shortcuts that were being taken, he was removed from the project and told to be quiet. Refusing to be silenced, Alan has been fighting for an inquiry for six years. this is his story.


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