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Press release, February 22, 2001

Dutch Commission for Disposal of Radioactive Waste published final report.
Laka Foundation criticizes outcome.

The Dutch Commission for Disposal of Radioactive Waste (CORA) published yesterday its final report after five years of studies on waste disposal/storage and retrievability. On request of the commission, Laka (together with researcher Herman Damveld) conducted studies on ethical/social issues and on discussions in foreign countries.

Laka Foundation has criticized the commission's proposed concept of deep geological disposal in clay or salt. According to the commission, deep geological disposal would ultimately be "necessary" after a period of above-ground storage. "With this, the commission ignores the lack of public acceptance for underground disposal", said Robert Jan van den Berg.

CORA proposes a social debate on the waste issue without foregone conclusions. Laka welcomes such a debate as it has never yet taken place in The Netherlands. "But CORA states that retrievability could decrease the resistance against deep geological disposal, from which we conclude that the eventual outcome [geological disposal] will be clear in advance instead of being open to discussion", said Robert Jan van den Berg.

In its final report, CORA criticizes the outcome of Laka's study Nuclear Waste and Nuclear Ethics. They said Laka did not test the concept of retrievability against social/ethical criteria. "We strongly disagree with this statement of CORA. We did conduct a thorough research on ethics, sustainability, risk perception and the opinions of environmental organizations and we related it to the concept of retrievability. Just because our conclusions contradict with CORA's wishes, it does not mean that they are not sound", said Robert Jan van den Berg.