Dumb and Duma
Residents in Kariwa, Japan, who live near the world’s largest nuclear plant, voted on Sunday to reject plans to fuel the plant with recycled plutonium, known as MOX. Turnout was high, at 85 percent, and though the referendum was not legally binding, such a vote is rare in Japan and puts the government’s pro-MOX strategy in doubt. Meanwhile in Russia, the lower house of parliament, the Duma, will hold a final vote next week on whether to allow the import of nuclear waste, which would either be stored in perpetuity or reprocessed into nuclear fuel and exported. The plan, backed by President Vladimir Putin, is expected to pass. Alexei Yablokov, an anti-nuke scientist and activist, said a poll released by Greenpeace last week found that 90 percent of the voters in Russia are opposed to the plan.