the uk government has agreed to phase out the dumping of toxic waste at sea. Michael Meacher, the environment minister said that the uk would give up an "opt-out clause" from an international treaty drawn up by Ospar -- the 15-member Oslo-Paris Commission -- banning the sea dumping of low and intermediate level radioactive waste. The clause allowed the uk and France to dispose of obsolete nuclear submarines at sea. The uk and France are the only nations among the 15 to own both nuclear weapons and nuclear fuel reprocessing installations.
Peter Melchett, executive director of the environmental pressure group Greenpeace, hailed the decision as "an extraordinary reversal of a policy that has bedevilled our campaigns for 20 years".
But some pollution experts say that dumping at sea remained the safest disposal route for certain types of waste. Alastair Grant, a marine pollution expert at the University of East Anglia, said the decision seemed to have been made "in isolation, without looking at the bigger picture".
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