Commission approves plan for disposal of radioactive waste by Belgoprocess

February 11, 2004

Brussels, 9 February 2004

Commission Opinion of 5 February 2004 concerning the plan for the disposal of radioactive waste resulting from modifications to Site-1 of Belgoprocess plc in Belgium, in accordance with Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty (OJ C34/6 7.2.2004). Text

On 30 July 2003 the European Commission received from the Belgian Government, in accordance with Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty, General Data relating to the plan for the disposal of radioactive waste resulting from modifications to Site-1 of Belgoprocess plc.

On the basis of these data and additional information provided by the Belgian Government on 7 November 2003, and following consultation with the group of experts, the Commission has drawn up the following opinion:

(a) The planned modifications relate to the construction of a new intermediate storage facility for solid low-active waste that is already present on-site. The operation of the new storage facility will entail gaseous effluents only, for which specific discharge limits are envisaged. These discharge limits do not significantly add to the existing regulatory discharge limits.

(b) The distance between the new storage facility and the nearest neighbour Member State, in this case The Netherlands, is 11 km.

(c) During normal operation, discharges of gaseous effluent from the new storage facility will not cause an exposure of the population in other Member States that is significant from the point of view of health.

(d) Secondary liquid and solid radioactive waste resulting from the operation of the new storage facility will be treated, conditioned and stored on-site.

(e) In the event of unplanned discharges of radioactive waste, which may follow an accident of the type and magnitude considered in the general data for the new storage facility, the doses likely to be received by the population in other Member States would not be significant from the point of view of health.

In conclusion, the Commission is of the opinion that the implementation of the plan for the disposal of radioactive waste in whatever form resulting from modifications to Site-1 of Belgoprocess plc in Belgium, both in normal operation and in the event of an accident of the type and magnitude considered in the general data, is not liable to result in the radioactive contamination, significant from the point of view of health, of the water, soil or airspace of another Member State.

Official Journal of the EC, No. C34/6 7.2.2004

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