Radioactive soil will be removed from Byron Bay Public School after testing showed higher-than-normal levels during upgrade works.
According to a statement from the education department, preliminary testing of soil during early construction works for the upgrade to the school has identified ‘quantities of naturally occurring radioactive material’.
‘The department has engaged an environmental consultant to assist with the management of remediation works in consultation with the school principal, NSW Health, NSW Environmental Protection Agency and Byron Shire Council,’ the statement says.
‘The health, safety and well-being of students, staff and the school’s neighbours are the highest priority for the department.’
Works are currently being planned to remove soil from the school work site with dates and times still to be advised.
The department said said the removal of the material ‘presents no health risk to the school, and will be done after hours to minimise impact to school operations’.
‘All classes have been held as normal, and the students have sufficient play area: while some areas have been reduced during the works, other areas have been opened up.
‘The project, due to be completed late this year, will deliver 10 new permanent teaching spaces in a two-storey building, and create a total of 28 teaching spaces for 650 students,’ the department said.