[main page][map of the server][news of the server][forums][guestbook][publications][hot issues]

Russians said to oppose waste bill

Associated Press, May 26, 2001

MOSCOW (AP) - A leading Russian environmentalist said Saturday that legislation to allow the import of nuclear waste could face an uphill battle if lawmakers listen to their constituents.

Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, is to vote June 7 on a third and final reading of the legislation, which passed by a wide margin in itssecond reading last month.

Alexei Yablokov, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a leading anti-nuclear campaigner, said recent opinion surveys, including a poll by Greenpeace on Friday, showed that 90 percent of voters areagainst the plan.

``I think that it will make the deputies think (twice) about passing this law,'' Yablokov said.

If it passes the Duma, the bill will face a vote in the upper parliament house, the Federation Council. Yablokov said the chamber's chairman, Yegor Stroyev, was opposed the project and had branded it as a plan ``designed either for madmen or the mafia.''

Russia's new energy minister, Alexander Rumyantsev, has pushed for the legislation allowing the import of spent nuclear fuel rods from other nations since his appointment in March, saying it was essential for Russia to be able to export new nuclear fuel.

Russia's Nuclear Power Ministry has also lobbied for the plan. The ministry says Russia would earn up to $20 billion by importing 22,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel over a 10-year period. Nuclear power stations around the world have about 200,000 tons of waste intemporary storage

Officials have said spent fuel would be sent by armored train to a facility near Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountains for reprocessing. The recycling process extracts useable nuclear material from the spent rods while reducing their potential to be used in weapons, the Nuclear Power Ministry has said.

A 1992 law forbids importing nuclear materials from countries other than former East Bloc nations with existing contracts. Russia now imports spent fuel rods from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Hungary for reprocessing, a system established during Soviettimes.

See also:

Nuclear waste bill section of the web-site

Associated Press, May 26, 2001

[main page][map of the server][news of the server][forums][guestbook][publications][hot issues]