There is no immediate danger from radiation to communities living in informal settlement, but the “situation was however less than ideal” the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) has stated
“The NNR has no proposed that more detailed studies be conducted to determine the radiological impact on persons living in informal settlement”.
This is according to recent response it sent to address the concerns raised by environmental lobby group, the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE).
In cases where children were found playing in contaminated water or where uncontrolled releases of effluent into the environment had been identified these “incidents happen outside of boundaries of NNR authorized actions”.
On the absence of epidemiological studies addressing large-scale problems associated with uranium pollution, it declared that “in terms of our responsibilities”, the NNR did not have regulatory requirements to perform epidemiological studies.
The Department of Water Affair has taken the lead “regarding issues concerned with acid mine drainage” but the NNR stated that “we believe that most of the AMD results from unauthorized actions.”
This week, it emerged in a Parliament’s water portfolio committee that government had three years to avert another AMD crisis on the Witwatersrand, which had implications for water security.
“The NNR states that environmental and human health effects posed by AMD not only arose from the presence of radioactivity, but also from the presence of toxic chemicals.
“The organization is updating legislation and regulations to “be aligned with international best practice” and it says that issues “will be managed effectively as a matter of urgency”.