No more poison

russia's Supreme Court recently overturned parts of a presidential decree that gave a Russian metallurgical plant carte blanche to import and store spent nucleur fuel. Though Russia's constitution prohibits the import of nuclear waste for storage and disposal, President Boris Yeltsin's ukase , signed in 1992, gave the Gorno-Khimichesky combine in Zheleznogorsk permission to import spent nuclear fuel from all over the world for "temporary storage and reprocessing'.

The plant which earlier produced weapons grade plutonium, is now desperate for hard currency. Protests against the decree was reinforced by revelations that about four million cubic metres of radioactive waste are already buried at the site. The court's decision states that from now Russia will take in fuel only from Soviet-made reactors functioning in former East bloc coun tries like Ukraine, Hungary and Bulgaria.

Russia's problems related to import of hazardous waste are not limited to radioactive materials alone