Gloom and Duma
Despite polls that suggest that 80 to 90 percent of Russians oppose the plan, the lower house of the country’s parliament, the Duma, voted yesterday to allow the import of nuclear waste, which would either be stored in perpetuity in Siberia or reprocessed into nuclear fuel and exported. The upper house is expected to approve the plan, which is backed by President Vladimir Putin. Nearly all of the spent fuel Russia could import from reactors in Europe and Asia was originally supplied by the U.S. and cannot be transferred to a third party without U.S. permission. Environmental groups have begun lobbying the Bush administration to give the plan the heave-ho. The administration has suggested that it opposes the plan.