Deadly imports

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

the R ussian parliament has approved three controversial bills allowing the import of dangerous nuclear waste. As per the bills, Russia would earn more than us $1,000 for each kilogramme to import and store 20,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel over 10 years from various countries. The lower house of parliament, the Duma, passed the bills by a 243-125 vote. The three bills still have to be approved by the federation council, the upper house of the parliament and president Vladimir Putin. The final decision will be made by the us government as approval from usa is mandatory for export of any spent nuclear fuel from us -built reactors even if those reactors are located in other countries. More than 90 per cent of nuclear waste shipments to Russia would originate in us -built reactors, according to Greenpeace, an international pressure group.

The move has raised concerns among environmentalists, who had gathered 2.5 million signatures on petitions to force a referendum, but the appeals were rejected by the election commission. Even scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences have urged Putin to veto the move. They have warned that the nuclear waste could endanger the lives of Russians for hundreds of years.

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