The row was sparked by Greenpeace, which successfully petitioned the Dendermonde court before the shipment to rule that Belgian law requires local authorities to be informed of nuclear shipments and involved in emergency response plans. The interior ministry argues that the requirements apply only to nuclear installations, not shipments. ENDS Daily understands that a number of Belgian parliamentarians are petitioning for the situation to be clarified, and the law revised.
The shipment in question was the first of fifteen due to occur over the next few years. The waste arises from the reprocessing of spent Belgian fuel by French company Cogema. In 1998, the government cancelled the contract with Cogema so that no further Belgian fuel will be reprocessed after this year (ENDS Daily 8 December 1998).
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