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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Sudan’s Northern legislators to discuss illegal disposal of nuclear waste

November 14, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The legislative council of Sudan’s Northern State will discuss an urgent issue regarding claims that Chinese companies have buried radioactive nuclear waste in the desert during the construction of the Merowe dam.

A nuclear waste repository (Photo Reuters/Christian Charisius)
A nuclear waste repository (Photo Reuters/Christian Charisius)
Media reports have recently quoted the former director of the Sudan Atomic Energy Commission (SAEC), Mohamed Sidig, as saying that 60 containers with toxic waste were brought to Sudan together with construction materials and machinery for the building of the Merowe dam.

Sidiq claimed that 40 containers were buried in the desert near the dam construction site while another 20 containers have been left out in the open.

The head of the services committee at the legislative council in the Northern State, Ali Hassan Betaik, told Sudan Tribune that the state parliament will discuss an urgent issue he raised about the reports on the burial of nuclear waste in the state.

Betaik stressed the council will discuss the issue on Monday, pointing that the government of the Northern State is making efforts to protect the residents and preserve the environment.

He noted that his committee had previously sought to get scientific opinions on the causes of the widespread of some diseases in the state such as cancer and kidney failure, underscoring the government is keen to detect the reasons behind the spread of such diseases in the region.

He pointed that residents of the Northern State are concerned about the measures put in place to protect the environment particularly after the start of the traditional gold exploration activities which pose a serious ecological threat.

It is noteworthy that the Merowe dam, which is located near the Nile’s fourth cataract, was completed in 2009 by Chinese, French, and German companies, and largely funded by China.