A multimillion-dollar plan to build a radioactive waste storage centre, abandoned in 1997 because of high costs, has been resurrected as the Government approaches a deadline to remove the waste from a secondary school. Wah Yan College in Wan Chai has been asking the administration since 1995 to remove the radioactive waste from a nearby air-raid shelter. In April, the college threatened to take its complaint against repeated government delays to the Ombudsman if a solution was not found before the end of last year. A spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Department said officials were close to making a decision on either moving the waste to a mainland storage site, or building a new one at Siu A Chau, off Lantau. The Siu A Chau plan was abandoned in 1997 after a potential contractor estimated it would cost $106 million against a government budget of $66 million. 'It was always the administration's intention to relocate the existing low-level radioactive waste to a purpose-built facility for long-term storage,' the department spokeswoman said. 'An assessment of the two options is approaching the final stage. The Government aims to reach a final decision as soon as possible.' But she declined to say when an announcement would be made. The World War II shelter off Queen Road's East is the only storage site for radioactive waste in Hong Kong and contains luminous watch dials, smoke detectors, mantles from kerosene lanterns and radioactive medical waste. Since the mid-1960s, more than 200 barrels of the low-level radioactive waste have been stored in the shelter. The potential hazard came to the school's attention in 1991. School principal George Tam Siu-ping did not return calls.