Sudan’s Justice Minister has formed a committee of inquiry into the allegations that containers with radioactive construction waste are buried near the Merowe Dam in Northern state.
Minister Awad El Hassan El Nur announced his decision on Thursday, upon the request of the Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation, and Electricity, that had requested the appointment of a neutral body under the 1954 Commissions of Inquiry Act.
The chief public prosecutor in Khartoum and Omdurman heads the committee, that includes representatives of the police and the Sudanese security apparatus, as well as members of the Sudan Atomic Energy Commission (SAEC), the Supreme Council of the Environment, Nuclear Medicine Institute, and the Centre for Industrial Research and Consultancy.
The investigation body has to submit its final report within two weeks after the starting of its activities. The decision set out the fact-finding committee’s terms of reference: the investigation of any presence of chemical or radioactive materials in the area of Merowe dam, and its impact on the environment in the region.
In November 2015, the former SAEC director revealed thatandnbsp;60 containers with nuclear wasteandnbsp;were brought from China to Sudan during the construction of the Merowe Dam in the Northern State. He claimed that 40 containers were buried in the desert not far from the construction site, and another 20 containers were disposed of in the desert. China worked on the dam between 2004 and 2009.
Days later, the Minister of Electricity and Dams, Moataz Mousa,andnbsp;acknowledgedandnbsp;at a special meeting of the Energy Committee in the Sudanese Parliament that 40 containers had been buried in a well-covered cement hole. However Mousa asserts that they contain the remnants of building materials, buckets, and cement bags used to build the Merowe dam, rather than toxic waste.<