The South Korean government is pushing for a regional referendum in October or November to decide where to build a planned nuclear waste repository.

Under the current law, the vote must take place on 22 November at the latest but if the government pushes forward with the pre-screening process, this date could be moved forward to late October.

Strong local opposition forced the government to back down from a site it had selected in Buan, about 280 km southwest of Seoul, but local governments of Gunsan in North Jeolla Province and Gyeongju, Yeongdeok and Pohang in North Gyeongsang Province, have all announced their interest in hosting the nuclear repository. The facility will be used to store low level waste and is due to be completed by 2008.