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Russian Duma moves to OK import of nuclear fuel


Russian Duma moves to OK import of nuclear fuel

Fire quickly extinguished at Japan nuke plant


Russian Duma moves to OK import of nuclear fuel


MOSCOW (Reuters) April 18 - Russia nudged a step closer to lifting 

limits on importing spent nuclear fuel from abroad after the lower 

parliament voted through a second reading of bills on Wednesday. 

The controversial bills will still need a third reading to become law 

and open Russia up to receiving nuclear waste from other countries 

for storage and reprocessing. 

The 450-seat Duma approved the bills, which have been the subject of 

heated public debate in the past few months, by between 230 and 250 


It took the State Duma four months from the first reading to decide 

between the arguments of environmentalists, who say the bills would 

turn Russia into an international nuclear dump, and the government, 

who say they would earn Russia billions of dollars. 

Liberal deputy Yuli Rybakov, who voted against the bills, called for 

the names of members who voted for the bills to be made public. 

"Let us make public the names of those who voted in favor, so our 

children will know who they should curse," he said. 

Russia is one of the world's leading producers of nuclear fuel. So 

far, it has only accepted back its own fuel sold abroad, but the new 

bills would allow the import of foreign-produced fuel. 

Environmental groups say that Russia's existing nuclear dumps are 

already nearly full, and warn that a lack of cash to maintain them 

means they pose a serious threat even before any waste from abroad is 


The government says the import of the foreign waste should be 

encouraged to boost the lucrative business of converting the waste 

into usable fuel and create thousands of jobs in Russia's atomic 

energy industry, which was virtually halted after the 1986 explosion 

at the Chernobyl nuclear station in the Ukraine. 

According to the Atomic Energy Ministry contracts to store foreign 

nuclear waste could bring $20 billion in the next 10 years, a figure 

which Russia could not hope to raise itself. 

"Russia has good reprocessing technology and, frankly, it's a shame 

to lose the 80 percent of fuel which could still be extracted from 

the waste," the new Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev told 

the Duma. 

"Our atomic energy sector is perhaps one of the few where we maintain 

a high technological level," Rumyantsev said. "The bills should help 

it survive." 

Last month Russia opened its first nuclear power station since 

Chernobyl near the central Russian town of Rostov. 


Fire quickly extinguished at Japan nuke plant


TOKYO, April 18 (Reuters) - A small fire broke out at a nuclear plant 

in southwestern Japan on Wednesday but was quickly extinguished 

without causing radiation leaks, officials said. 

Chugoku Electric Power Co Inc said the fire started in a building 

that housed a turbine at 10:40 a.m. (0140 GMT) and was put out by 11 

a.m. (0200 GMT). 

A company spokesman said there was no radiation leak or any other 

impact on the environment, adding that there was no need to stop the 

820,000-kilowatt reactor in Shimane prefecture. 

Japan's 51 nuclear reactors supply a third of the country's energy 

needs. But the industry has been criticised after a series of 

accidents, including Japan's worst-ever at a uranium reprocessing 

plant in Tokaimura in 1999 that killed two workers. 


Sandy Perle					Tel:(714) 545-0100 / (800) 548-5100   				    	

Director, Technical				Extension 2306 				     	

ICN Worldwide Dosimetry Service		Fax:(714) 668-3149 	                   		    

ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc.			E-Mail: sandyfl@earthlink.net 				                           

ICN Plaza, 3300 Hyland Avenue  		E-Mail: sperle@icnpharm.com          	          

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Personal Website: http://sandyfl.nukeworker.net

ICN Worldwide Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com


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