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Fourth shipment of vitrified waste to Belgium

Press release

February 22, 2002

Initial preparations have begun for the fourth shipment of vitrified wastes from France to Belgium. The shipment is being made in accordance with contractual agreements and authorizations. The cask of wastes, which come from the reprocessing and recycling of Belgian spent fuel, will leave the COGEMA rail terminal at Valognes once operational arrangements are in place, on or sometime after 27 Feb. 2002.

The shipment from the COGEMA La Hague plant, in France, to the specially designed storage facility on a Belgoprocess site at Dessels, Belgium, is being made under reprocessing-recycling contracts between Synatom and COGEMA and in accordance with directives from Belgian authorities.  The transport cask complies with security standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Shipping of nuclear materials is governed by strict national and international regulations and procedures guaranteeing a high level of security. The transport casks used for these shipments undergo a series of tests by COGEMA, which are monitored by Synatom, Belgium's National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (ONDRAF) and Belgoprocess.