The Belgium nuclear waste authority
(June 24 1994) (ONDRAF Office National des Dechets Radioactifs) announced a preliminary list of 98 sites considered suitable for permanently storing radioactive waste. It now falls to the government to choose a single "winner" from among these candidates. No site near the Belgian capital Brussels appears on the list.
Though the sites were selected according to geological, social and demographic criteria, soil type and geology were key factors. According to ONDRAF Belgium has only two choices for storage: either in clay deposits or above layers of non-permeable schist. The Flanders part of Belgium has an abundance of clay, while schists is found in Wallonia's southern region in the Ardennes hill country. A deep-level subterranean storage experiment in clay deposits at the nuclear center at Mol is partially funded by the European Commission and is testing the long-term effects of heat on clay.
Belgium has approximately 100,000 cubic meters of radioactive waste stored above ground in temporary concrete bunkers at Dessel near Mol. ONDRAF will whittle down the list of sites to a single location using a second set of criteria later this decade. The government, if it can muster the political willpower, should make a decision by 1997/1998, meaning the storage site would be ready early in the next millennium. Power in Europe, 6 may, 1994
Bangkok Peace Seminar
From Friday 22 July to Monday 25 July the Pacific Campaign for Security and Disarmament (PCDS) together with several Thai groups, organize the Bangkok Peace Seminar. This non-government meeting precedes the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the first Asia-Pacific security meeting at a governmental level, which starts at July 25, 1994. The Asia-Pacific region is characterized by residual manifestations of the Cold War as well as new disputes and problems. Among the key elements of the security environment are the presence of nuclear weapons states (US, China, Russia, France), tensions on the Korean Peninsula related to nuclear and reunification issues, increasing militarization in Japan and China and numerous 'hot spots' like Bogainville East Timor and the Spratley Islands.
Purpose of the Bangkok Peace Seminar is to initiate a dialogue on Asia-Pacific regional peace and security from a people's perspective: to find common goals, including cooperative efforts towards nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation (with a focus on 1995, the 50th anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki and the NPT extension conference). It is the intention to pursue the development of on-going regional mechanisms by which these perspectives may be heard by the governments. A resolution will be adopted to present to the ARF. The seminar will create a firm basis for future cooperation among peace movements of the region and of the world.
Source: Pacific News Bulletin, Vol. 9, No. 5 (May 1994)
Contact for further information: Hiro Umebayashi, Internal Coordinator, PCDS, 3-1-3 Minohacho, Konokuku, Yokohama, 223 Japan. Tel: + 8 1-45- 563-5101; Fax: + 81-45-563-9907.