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Czech Republic: Storage Of Nuclear Waste In Mines Rejected

Prague, 6 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - The Czech Republic has turned down a proposal from Hong Kong to store low-level radioactive waste in Czech mineshafts.

The Czech Republic was one of several countries surveyed by the British company, Taylor Woodrow Management and Engineering, as a possible site for the storage of low-level radioactive waste from Hong Kong. Also surveyed were Canada, the United States, France and Spain.

Miroslav Kucerka, from the nuclear section of the Czech Ministry of Industry, told RFE/RL that current legislation does not allow for the storage of foreign nuclear waste on Czech lands, so the British query was rejected. He said the British firm was just surveying the possibilities, rather than making a specific proposal.

A spokesman for Taylor Woodrow, Mike Griffiths, was quoted in the Czech Daily, "Mlada Fronta Dnes," as saying his company has not received any positive replies to the proposal yet. He said he was not surprised by the rejection, but his client asked to pursue the possibility, so he did.

Griffith said the radioactive waste is from industrial, health and scientific products and does not involve waste from nuclear reactors.