Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Here is some background to my interests in radiation protection and in occupational health and safety.

(pasted material)

This is from the "Experience and Capabilities" Statement of my company, Mark Sonter Consulting Pty Ltd.

Providing 25 years' experience in radiation safety in planning, E.I.S. preparation, design, licence approvals process, and operation of openpit, underground, and insitu uranium projects, in remediation of radioactive sites, in development and presentation of radiation safety training courses, and in general occupational health and safety management and industrial hygiene.

Short C.V. for Mark Sonter
B.Sc, Dip.Ed (UNSW), Physics & Geology. Science teacher, Monaro High School, Cooma, NSW, 1969.
Physics lecturer, University of Papua New Guinea, 1970-75. Research in micrometeorology, soil physics.

M.App.Sc (Medical Physics), Queensland Institute of Technology, 1979. My thesis estimated organ radiation doses from inhalation of uranium ore dust, at Mary Kathleen Uranium mine / mill, in NW Queensland.

Grad.Dip.Occ.Hazard Mgt., Ballarat CAE, 1983. Thesis estimated radiation doses from Gamma rays and Radon Progeny for Olympic Dam Copper-Uranium mine, then in initial design phase. Safety Institute of Australia Prize.

· First professional uranium mine Radiation Safety Officer in Australia, Mary Kathleen Uranium, 1977-78.
· Wrote radiation and safety chapters of Pancontinental's Jabiluka Project EIS, 1979-80.
· Ministerial Appointee, Northern Territory Radiographers' Registration Board, 1980-81.
· Periods of secondment to Nabarlek and Ranger uranium mines during 1979 and 1980.
· Consulted on radiation protection in Western Australian mineral sands industry, 1981.
· Radiation & Safety Superintendent, WMC Olympic Dam Project (Roxby Downs) integrated underground mine and concentrator / hydrometallurgical plant / smelter / electrolytic refinery 1981-90; EIS input; developed OHS and Radiation design criteria; occupational and environmental monitoring programs, Safety Management System, hazardous chemicals management, and associated training. Negotiated operating licence conditions and Approvals. Developed world-first operational real-time continuous multi-point in-mine radon monitoring system.
· Consulted to SANTOS on NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials) in oil and gas industry; survey of Port Bonython gas separation facility, 1984.
· Member, International Labour Organization Expert Group on Industrial Radiation Safety, Geneva Switzerland, September, 1986.
· First WMC Group Manager, Occupational Health & Safety, 1990-95. Set up corporate OH&S systems, reporting, and auditing. Developed ACCSTAT accident / injury statistics database.
· Contracted "Independent Assessor" for WA EPA of Management Plan for disposal of Rare Earth Plant radioactive wastes at Mt Walton Intractable Waste Disposal Facility, near Kalgoorlie, WA, 1996.
· Consultant to WMC on management of contaminant asbestos in nickel ores, 1995-96.
· Consultant on environmental cleanup of WMC's Yeelirrie Uranium Project minesite, and demolition disposal and cleanup of associated Kalgoorlie Vanadium - Uranium Research Plant, 1996-97.
· Consultant, review of OHS and Environmental Management, Kalgoolie Superpit operations, 1996-7.
· Consultant, Beverley In Situ Leach Uranium Project EIS input, RSO for pilot plant operation, 1996-98.
· Member, Maralinga Atomic Bomb Test Site Cleanup Project Health Physics Audit team, for Dept of Primary Industries & Energy, March 1997 and June 1998.
· Safety review of design for high-power laser installation for Las-Tek Pty Ltd, 1998.
· Consultant to CSIRO on remediation of research laboratory radioactive waste site, 1997.
· Member of drafting panel for rewrite of Radioactive Ores Mining Code 1997 to present.
· Environmental radiation studies, Honeymoon Uranium Project, 1998.
· Consultant on partial demolition and cleanup of WMC's Olympic Dam Pilot Plant, 1998-99.
· Review for SA Dept of Mines of old uranium mining and processing sites at Radium Hill and Port Pirie, and on development of Departmental Radiation Management Plan, 1998.
· Consultant RSO, Ranger Uranium, and major underground radiation studies, Jabiluka mine, 1998-99.
· Advice and radiation training for BHP Whyalla on radiation issues relating to installation and commissioning of new 5-strand continuous caster utilizing Cobalt-60 level gauges for flow control, 1999.
· Short courses for Australian Mineral Foundation (radiation control in uranium and mineral sands mining), BHP Whyalla (courses for SA Health Commission licences to handle sealed radioactive sources, for x-ray analysis technicians, and for industrial radiographers), and WMC-Roxby Downs (theory courses for radiation control, occupational hygiene, and mine ventilation staff), 1999, 2000, 2001.
· Adjunct (honorary) lecturer, Dept of Public Health, Univ. of Adelaide (1998-2000).
· Advice on demolition and decontamination of Asian Rare Earths plant, Malaysia, 2000.
· Advice on management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials in steel industry, BHP Port Kembla Steelworks (2000).
· Senior Radiation Policy Advisor, NSW EPA Radiation Control Branch (2001-2), detailed involvement in Mineral Sand Mines cleanup criteria, advice for cleanup of historical radium contamination at Hunters Hill, and requirements for new mineral sands projects. Involved in all aspects of policy development for the regulation of medical x-ray and radionuclide usage. Ongoing consultancy rights.
· Assignment with International Atomic Energy Agency (Vienna) to develop training material on Management of Radioactive Mining Waste (Nov 2001).
· Consulting with mining companies on situations with minor contaminant uranium in ores.

Selected relevant Publications / Presentations:

Measurements of Ore Dust in a Uranium Mill, and resulting Estimates of Radiation Doses to Internal Organs of Workers
- M.App.Sc. thesis, Dept of Physics, Queensland Institute of Technology, 1978.

Radiation Safety in Uranium Mining
- Australian Radiation Protection Society Conference, May 1980.

Investigation of Radiation Parameters in a Uranium Orebody and their impact on Mine Design
- Dissertation for Grad. Diploma, Ballarat College of Advanced Education, School of Engineering, 1983 (Safety Institute of Australia Prize).

Gamma Dose Rates as a Function of Ore Grades in Underground Uranium Mines
- Radiation Protection in Australia Vol. 5 No. 3 1987.

Estimation of Radon Daughter Levels for Mine Ventilation Design
- Radiation Protection in Australia Vol. 5 No. 3 1987.

Radioactive Dust Dose Calculations Using the Recommendations of the ICRP (with J. Hondros)
- Radiation Protection in Australia Vol. 5 No. 3 1987.

Statistical Presentation of Radiation Dose Data for the Olympic Dam Project (with J. Hondros)
- Radiation Protection in Australia Vol. 6 No. 2 1988.

Occupational Health and Hygiene at Olympic Dam
- Annual Conference, Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists, Dec. 1988.

Radon - Radon Daughter Equilibrium Factor Measurements in an Operating Uranium Mine
(with J. Warneke)
- Radiation Protection in Australia Vol. 7 No. 3 1989.

Personal Dose Estimations for Olympic Dam's First Year of Production (with J. Hondros)
- Radiation Protection in Australia Vol. 7 No. 3 1989.

Radiation Dose Control in Mining - What is "As Low As Reasonably Achievable?"
- Minesafe International, Perth, 1990, WA Chamber of Mines.

Annotated Bibliography - Arsenic and Smelters
- WMC Technical Paper, 1992.

Development of a Corporate Health & Safety Function within Western Mining Corporation
- Futuresafe, Adelaide, May 1992.

Asbestos Occurrence, Measurement, and Epidemiology - Annotated Bibliography (with H. Jenkin)
- WMC Technical Paper, 1994.

Occurrence and Management of Contaminant Asbestos in Western Australian Mines
(with G. Hewson, H. Herbert, and A. Rogers)
- Minesafe International, 1993, WA Chamber of Mines, Perth.

OH&S in the Mining Industry - Concepts and Management
- AIC Conference presentation, July 1992.

Difficulties in Assessment of Asbestos Exposure in Metalliferous Mining (with G Hewson)
- J. Occ Health & Safety-Aust. & N.Z., Oct 1994.

OH&S Concepts for Risk Managers
- Corporate Risk Magazine, March 1995.

Regulation of Risk in Occupational Health & Safety
- IPA Review, Nov-Dec 1995.

Independent Review of the Proposal to Dispose of Rare-Earth Plant Wastes at the Intractable Waste Disposal Facility operated at Mt Walton East by the Waste Management Division of the WA Department of Environment and Planning.
- WA EPA Bulletin, April 1996.

Occupational and Environmental Radiation in the Beverley Uranium Project (with L Tracy)
- Australasian Radiation Protection Society Annual Conference Adelaide, Sept 1997.

Radiation Doses during Demolition of a Uranium Producing Pilot Plant (with C Woolard)
- Australasian Radiation Protection Society Annual Conference Adelaide, Sept 1997.

Underground Radiation Studies and Findings in the Jabiluka Ore Access Drive during and after its Development
- Australasian Radiation Protection Society Conference, Sydney, June 2000.

Rehabilitation of Radioactively Contaminated Sites: Some Case Studies
- Australasian Radiation Protection Society Conference, Gold Coast, September 2001.

Radon Flux from Rehabilitated and Unrehabilitated Uranium Tailings Deposits (with Samantha Holdsworth and Riaz Akber)
- ARPS Journal 19 No. 1, April 2002.

This is the introductory blog page of Mark Sonter. I am an Australian physicist, with interests in radiation protection and in asteroids as resource objects for future human expansion into the solar system. I have published in both these areas and future blogs will have links to some of my papers.