Kuwait Times - 20/4/2006
The government told National Assembly's environment panel yesterday that it had formed a committee of specialists to monitor nuclear radiation in a bid to ward off risks that may result from the Iranian nuclear plant in Bushehr, a lawmaker said. Head of the environment committee MP Ali Al-Deqbasi said the government also vowed to allocate sufficient funds for the committee to be able to carry out its duties. The announcement came at a meeting held by the assembly panel to discuss risks of the Iranian nuclear activities, especially that Bushehr plant is very close to Kuwait.
"The Iranian nuclear programme is a cause for concern for fear of polluting the Gulf waters, the main source of drinking water for Kuwait. We urge the Islamic Republic to be transparent in dealing with this issue and to comply with international standards," Deqbasi said. Representatives from the health ministry and Public Environment Agency attended the meeting which focussed on government's preparations to deal with any possible radiation from the Iranian nuclear plant.
The meeting reviewed the possibility of the plant being affected by earthquakes or in case of an incident that may lead to nuclear radiation in the region, Deqbasi said. The panel urged government bodies to coordinate their efforts to be prepared to face any emergency, he said. The panel also called for training national staff capable of dealing with nuclear risks and for coordination with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in this matter, he said. Iran last week announced it had succeeded in enriching uranium and defied international calls to abandon its nuclear programme despite threats by the UN Security Council to impose sanctions and threats by the US to attack the Islamic Republic. Influential former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who wound up a three-day visit to Kuwait on Tuesday, said during the visit that Iran does not intend to halt the enrichment of uranium.
In other Assembly business, head of the anti-corruption committee MP Fahd Al-Khannah said that the committee plans to approve a draft law that calls to separate decision-making processes from vested interests. The bill aims at protecting decision-making, especially in promotions and awarding bids or state lands from being influenced by personal interests, he said. He said the committee will submit the bill to the Assembly for approval and expected it will be applied in the current term.
The committee also reviewed a draft law requiring top state officials to reveal their wealth before assuming their posts and after leaving them, Khannah said. The bill will be applied to ministers, MPs, senior bureaucrats, board members of the cooperative societies and others, he said. A team of experts from the ministry of justice will be assigned the responsibility of implementing the law after approval, Khannah said.