Greens senator Scott Ludlam has called for an independent audit into safety practices at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation's (ANSTO) Lucas Heights facility.
"The Commonwealth Government must insist on a through independent audit of the aging isotope production facility to ensure the workforce is protected," said Ludlam.
The call followed a report by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency aired on last week's ABC Lateline which Ludlam said supported allegations made by a long term employee of ANSTO that it disregarded safety laws.
"[The report] revealed that inadequate safety procedures have been tolerated for years, with supervision and training not up to standard, and the facility's management completely oblivious," said Ludlam.
ANSTO has since rejected several claims made by Lateline, arguing that ARPANSA's report found there was "no cover up and no significant radiation event".
It has however conceded that there were "management issues" identified in the investigations, but wrote-off allegations made by recently suspended health and safety representative employee David Reid who had raised the initial alarm which triggered ARPANSA's investigation.
"Mr Reid has worked as an operator at ANSTO and has no qualifications in radiation or medical science. His experience is as an elected occupational health and safety staff representative," ANSTO said in a statement.
It added that Reid had been suspended for assaulting an employee in an unrelated matter.
"They are trying to discredit me as a person and therefore to discredit the safety allegations that I've made," Reid told Lateline.
ANSTO claims that the last high radiation exposure incident was in 2007.