The State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament voted in the 1st reading 319-38 in favour of an amendment to a law that would allow Russia to import and store nuclear waste. The Yabloko faction voted against the bill. Defending it, Robert Nigmatulin, member of the Environmental Protection Committee, said the feasibility studies showed high profitability of foreign trade involving nuclear fuel, Interfax reports. Should the bill materialize, Russia is going to earn over $20bn within the span of 10 years. According the UPI news agency, the Greenpeace environmental protection group was horrified at the development, warning that the country would become a dumping ground for the world's radioactive waste. Germany, Switzerland, China, Japan and Taiwan are understood to be keen to begin sending radioactive waste to Russia as soon as the law permits them to do so, with other countries lining up in the queue to off-load their own waste. The proposal must be approved in another reading by the Duma before passing to the upper house of parliament and then to President Vladimir Putin before becoming law.
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