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News // Oil and gas worldwide

Russian Duma postpones consideration of spent fuel bills

24 March 2001 , 07:00243
Paris, 22March2001

Russia's Duma postponed consideration of a spent fuel import package today. In the second of two consecutive votes this morning, members of the lower house of Russia's parliament overwhelmingly agreed not to vote on, or even debate, the package of three bills sponsored by the Ministry of Atomic Energy (Minatom) that had been approved in a first reading Dec. 21. The bills would allow Minatom to import foreign spent fuel for long-term storage and reprocessing. Opponents have claimed the spent fuel and/or waste would remain in Russia and that financial controls on the proceeds from such a business were inadequate. Vladimir Slivyak of the ecologist group Eco-Defense said the postponement vote by Russian President Vladimir Putin's Unity faction could be seen as a "signal" that Putin doesn't want the bills to pass, though he hasn't spoken out for or against the proposals. A new date for consideration hasn't been set, but the head of the Unity group said it could be April 4 or 5.

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