Tabloo - Theaterzaal -  la salle de théâtre - Neutron

From waste to participation

In 1998, the Federal Government decided that research was needed into a suitable disposal site for low- and intermediate-level short-lived waste, and this was to take the form of a participative process.

This meant that the local population in municipalities with a potential interest needed to be involved from the outset. The nearby municipalities of Dessel and Mol were among the ones willing to investigate a potential disposal project with ONDRAF/NIRAS. Two partnerships were set up for the purpose of representing local residents: STOLA/STORA from Dessel (Study and Consultation Group on Radioactive Waste) and MONA from Mol (Mol Consultation Group on Nuclear Waste).


From participation to Tabloo

Both partnerships worked closely with ONDRAF/NIRAS to investigate whether it was technically possible and socially acceptable to dispose of radioactive waste in their respective municipalities.

After five years of research, both Dessel and Mol responded positively and set out their conditions. In 2006, the Federal Government decided that the repository would be built in Dessel and that the societal conditions of both partnerships needed to be fulfilled. One of these was the creation of what was then known as a communications centre, which would ultimately become the visitor and meeting centre Tabloo.

The Tabloo timeline

2007 Start of the project group for communications with STORA and MONA
2011 Site chosen on Gravenstraat
2013 Flemish Government Architect launches international architecture competition
2014 Awarding of design to Bovenbouw Architecten/ONO architectuur
2014 Working groups for developing the expo are launched
2015 The name 'Tabloo' is chosen
2016 Awarding of a building permit
2019 Start of building works
2020 Placement of concrete 'table' structure is complete
2021 Start of test visits to the expo
2022 Official opening of Tabloo


Tabloo is a table

The name 'Tabloo' is derived from the Esperanto word for table and refers to the 15 metre-high concrete table structure of the building. This table represents the discussion that ONDRAF/NIRAS entered into and wants to continue on the topic of radioactive waste. 

The concrete table will remain a landmark in the landscape for hundreds of years. A living reminder of the nearby near-surface repository: a 'lieu de mémoire' [place of memory]. The architectural design as a whole is such that the concrete table can stand by itself, separate from the wooden sub-structure that is of a temporary nature. The contents of the spaces under the table can therefore evolve according to future needs.

The creation of Tabloo

This documentary outlines how Tabloo was created. Numerous parties explain their involvement in the project.

Did you know?

The concrete table slab of Tabloo is supported by 9 solid 'legs'?
The concrete table structure of Tabloo is made from 2,750 m3 of concrete?
The concrete table of Tabloo contains over 500,000 kilos of reinforcement?
Over 150 concrete mixers were involved in the construction of the concrete table of Tabloo?

Practical information about Tabloo


Getting here

Gravenstraat 3, 2480 Dessel.
Charging facilities for electric bicycles and cars (3).



Ample free parking for bicycles, cars and coaches.



All areas accessible to buggies and wheelchair users.



To be sure of gaining entry, it is best to buy your ticket online. On-site electronic payment only. Schools and groups can request their visit in advance.


Opening hours

Tabloo is open on weekdays (9am–5pm) and on Sundays (10am–5pm). Last admission is at 4pm.



Free WiFi throughout the building. Cloakroom and lockers with electronic code.

About Tabloo

  • partners


    What do the STORA and MONA partnerships do? And what is the role of ONDRAF/NIRAS and SCK CEN?

  • radioactief


    Would you like to find out more about radioactivity and learn about radioactive waste management?

  • Tabloo - Expoo - Lift naar geologische berging


    Immerse yourself in an invisible world and experience radioactivity through fun, interactive exhibits.

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