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Despite the opinion of the electorate, the State Duma once again voted for the import of spent nuclear fuel into Russia

Press realease

On October 16, 2001, the State Duma again voted for the import of spent nuclear fuel into Russia neglecting the opinion of the majority of Russia's citizens.

On June 6, 2001 the State Duma passed at third reading a corresponding amendment to Article 50 of the law "On Environmental Protection". The Yabloko faction was the only faction to vote against this law in all three readings. On July 10 the law was signed by the President of Russia.

The law that has come into force does not envisage the mandatory repatriation of the present nuclear fuel after its recycling, thereby threatening to turn Russia into the world’s nuclear waste dump.

According to statistical surveys, over 75% of Russia's electorate oppose imports of spent nuclear fuel into Russia. Neglecting their opinion at that time, four months later the State Duma were given a chance to amend this error but did not use it: on October 18 it again voted for the imports of spent nuclear fuel into Russia after reviewing and adopting at second reading the draft law "On Environmental Protection".

The voting results of October 18, 2001, for amendment No 504 to the law ""On Environmental Protection" by deputy Robert Nigmatulin allowing for the import of spent nuclear fuel into Russia

Factions Votes,%
Communist Party 74.12%
"Unity" 98.78%
"People's deputy" 73.33%
"Fatherland - All Russia" 95.56%
Union of the Right-Wing Forces 18.42%
"Yabloko" 0%
"Russia's Regions" 64.44%
Agro-Industrial group 81.4%
Independent deputies 37.5%

Total for the amendment: 308 votes (at the required minimum of 226)

Against: 36 votes

Complete data see at:


The Duma rejected the proposal of the deputy from the Yabloko faction Sergei Mitrokhin to decline the amendments allowing for the import of spent nuclear fuel into Russia. His proposal to postpone the examination of this issue so that it could be discussed in more detail was also declined by the Duma. The amendment proposed by Mitrokhin envisaging mandatory repatriation of spent nuclear fuel imported into Russia for recycling was not put for a vote. Nor was the amendment of the member of the Yabloko faction Igor Artemyev to ban the burial of foreign radioactive waste in Russia.

"The deputies voted as if they lived in the past century, unable to understand that the whole world and Russia had entered into a new century - the century of international terrorism, Mitrokhin told journalists after voting. - In circumstances where threats are issued on a daily basis, the adoption of such laws is madness and is replete with irresponsibility before future generations and those who will live in our country."

Mitrokhin also pointed out to the press that "the 21st century will see the same processes which began in the 20th century: the developed countries will try to develop on their territories ecologically clean types of industry and services, and dirty technologies, productions and industries will be placed in third world countries."

Unfortunately today Russia led by the atomic lobby goes along this way, as it is being transformed into a third world country which provides its territory for preservation of the most dangerous waste. Thus Russia which is today a raw material appendage of the developed countries, faces the even worse fate of being transformed into a nuclear appendage of the West," added Mitrokhin.

Mitrokhin noted that the "position of the deputies, the government and presidential structures clearly demonstrates that it is impossible to reach any compromise with them on this issue." He also stressed that Yabloko would initiate a nationwide referendum and give the citizens of the country a chance to speak out on this issue, which is vitally important to them and their children.

"We shall fight till the very end and will achieve abolishment of decisions which are extremely dangerous for the country," said Mitrokhin. "Ecological organisations will do all they can so that every voter finds out how his deputy voted," the coordinator of the energy department of Russia's Greenpeace Vladimir Chuprov told journalists.

He also informed the press that the print run of the booklet "They are Transforming Russia into an International Nuclear Dump" was large and that the booklet, which contains the names of the deputies who voted for the imports of nuclear waste into Russia indicating their factions and the regions which elected them, would be spread all over the country. "We will ensure that at the next parliamentary elections in 2003 the deputies and deputies groups that voted for imports of spent nuclear fuel into Russia and for the transformation of Russia into an international nuclear waste dump will learn one thing: they should consider the opinion of the electorate on such important issues," added Chuprov.

See also:

Nuclear Waste Bill

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