Waste storage plan 'immoral'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 March, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 March, 2001, 12:00am

It would be immoral for the Government to store low-level radioactive waste on the mainland, a green group warned yesterday.

Secretary for Environment and Food Lily Yam Kwan Pui-ying told legislators the administration was discussing with mainland authorities the feasibility of storing such waste in purpose-built facilities there.

The decision would be made within a year after necessary information had been collected.

She said the Government had studied the possibility of storing the waste in 22 other countries in 1998 but none was suitable.

Mrs Yam said the Government would also study the option of storing the waste locally despite a plan to develop a purpose-built permanent facility in Siu A Chau being dropped in 1995.

Greenpeace executive director Ho Wei-chi said it was unacceptable and immoral to store Hong Kong's low-level radioactive waste on the mainland. He urged the Government to develop a permanent site in the SAR.

Mrs Yam said the volume of the waste was about 55 cubic metres and it was packaged in accordance with the International Atomic Energy Agency regulations.

Secretary for Health and Welfare Yeoh Eng-kiong in a written reply to non-affiliated legislator Henry Wu King-cheong said the Department of Health would carry out monthly monitoring of radiation levels.

Martin Lee Chu-ming, chairman of the Democratic Party, asked why the Government wanted a substitute storage place if the waste was sealed safely.