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Shipment of vitrified waste from France to Belgium

Press release

February 21, 2000

The return of vitrified residues from France to Belgium falls under spent fuel reprocessing agreements between COGEMA and SYNATOM, the company responsible for managing nuclear fuel in Belgium.

The agreements call for the return of final waste, which is conditioned after reprocessing, to the country of origin. The vitrified residues in this case is the first conditioned waste to be returned to Belgium. The Belgian authorities recently issued the necessary permits to ship and receive the vitrified residues at the Belgoprocess site in Dessel (Antwerp Province).

Ondraf, the national organization responsible for radioactive waste management in Belgium, and Synatom issued the following press release on this subject: "As indicated in our press release of February 2, 2000, preparations for the first shipment of vitrified residues from France to Belgium have begun.

A final test will be conducted prior to the shipment to verify the handling operations to be conducted one last time. "To this end, a mock-up of the empty shipping cask will be routed from France by rail to the Mol train station, and from thence by road to the storage building at the Belgoprocess site in Dessel (Antwerp Province).

Several handling operations will be checked in this building in the weeks that follow. "We invite you to follow all of the handling operations in the Mol train station (rail car arrival, transfer of the cask to a road vehicle by a gantry crane that has been under erection since Monday, February 21) and routing of the cask from the train station to the Belgoprocess site. "According to the current schedule, the mock-up will arrive on Thursday, February 24.

A media desk will be open on that date at Mega Action Mol, Keirlandse Zillen, 7, 2400 Mol, starting at 8:45 am. A press kit and the detailed schedule for the morning's events will be given out at that time. "A bus will be available for journalists who have signed up for transportation to the Belgoprocess site at the media desk."