Goodbye, Iron Curtain. Hello, Uranium Dump.
Russian and U.S. officials are expressing interest in a deal with a private U.S. company that wants store foreign nuclear power-plant waste in Russia. The company’s plan is to raise about $6 billion in storage fees from Taiwan, Korea, and other nations, primarily in Asia, that have spent nuclear fuel but nowhere to store it. At least $4 billion of that money would be devoted to cleaning up Russian nuclear-weapons facilities and to nonproliferation causes, such as raising security around plutonium removed from nuclear weapons. The deal would require changes in both Russian and U.S. law. The Natural Resources Defense Council is serving as an advisor to the U.S. company behind the plan, Non Proliferation Trust Inc. NRDC senior scientist Thomas B. Cochran admitted that Russian environmental groups are likely to oppose the project, but he cited the benefits of cleaning up the weapons-production sites.