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Hungary inaugurates first stage of nuclear waste disposal facility

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by Staff Writers
Budapest (AFP) Oct 6, 2008
The completed first stage of a nuclear waste disposal site -- the first in Hungary -- was inaugurated Monday in Bataapati, some 180 kilometres (110 miles) southwest of Budapest.

"The Bataapati National Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility provides the most extensive security permitted by current scientific and technological knowledge," Jozsef Palinkas, the chairman of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, said at the official ceremony.

The site, which began construction in 2006, currently includes surface storage and control facilities.

Construction has also begun on underground storage halls under a granite hill, where low and medium level nuclear waste will be kept, but these will only be completed by 2010.

Once operational, the surface storage will be able to temporarily hold 3,000 barrels of nuclear waste from Hungary's sole nuclear power plant in Paks, until they can be moved into the underground facility.

The Paks nuclear plant, some 100 kilometres from the waste disposal site, produces 160-170 cubic metres of nuclear waste annually and the renewal of reactor panels will regularly produce another 20,000 cubic metres, a Paks spokesperson told AFP.

The 38 billion forint (152 million euro) disposal site is being financed by annual contributions from enterprises that produce nuclear waste. Another 30 billion forint have already been spent on geological research and preparing the site.

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Nuclear deal set to boost US-India ties
New Delhi (AFP) Oct 5, 2008
The United States looked Sunday to burgeoning trade, defense and other ties with powerhouse India after New Delhi tipped its hat to Washington for unlocking the door to the global nuclear market.

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