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 Montebello Islands: Existing Exposure Site Monitoring

“Montebello Islands: Existing exposure site monitoring strategy and decision support” presented by Megan Cook from ARPANSA.

Our Business Manager Susanne Staton attended the Australasian Radiological Protection Society webinar in December and has kindly summarised the webinar and highlighted some of the following key takeout for anyone interested in doing a spot of fishing or camping in the area (highly recommended by Susie who was lucky enough to visit the islands recently, as well as many others we guess given this recent prompt for a review of the current protective actions).

The Montebello Islands are located off the Pilbara coast in Western Australian and were a nuclear weapon testing site in the 1950’s. The Commonwealth Government completed a does assessment in the 90’s and provided recommendations for radiation protection principals.

Key Points to be considered:

  • Current recommendations for the public are still relevant today, being:

Camping is permitted on Northwest, Primrose, Bluebell, Crocus, Hermite and Renewal Islands, to 100m inland of the high-water mark, and for no longer than five nights. Select a site that has been used before.

  • A free software tool – Visual Sampling Plan (VSP) was used to develop a defensible sampling plan. To view this tool, please visit
  • “ALARA often involves quite a bit of judgement. Perhaps this sample model will give it a bit more structure.” – Unknown contributor
  • Managing decision-making uncertainty can be done most effectively with a weight-of-evidence approach

If you would like to know more about what was discussed during the webinar, please refer to the Australasian Radiological Protection Society website to read the abstract or enquire further about the paper.

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