Russian ecologists say use of plutonium as nuclear fuel could cause more nuclear disasters

The use of plutonium as a nuclear fuel could cause more nuclear disasters as well as pollution and an even greater risk of the spread of nuclear materials. This is the opinion of Russian ecological experts. As a spokesman for the Moscow-based international movement Ecozashita [ecoprotection] announced, there are plans to promote the use of plutonium in Russia and the US at the upcoming G-8 summit in France on June 1-3. Ecological organisations are opposed to this and are organising protest actions in Russia and the US on May 26 and 27.

'Plutonium reserves are left over from the Cold War but they can only be used to destroy life,' said Co-Chairman of Ecozashita Vladimir Slivyak. He added that 'the use of plutonium for peaceful means is expensive and dangerous for the environment, the Russian population and even the nuclear industry.'

In 2000 the governments of Russia and the US signed an agreement on the utilization of 68 tonnes of plutonium (each side is to use 34 tonnes). The plutonium is expected to be used for the production of mixed oxide fuel (an uranium plutonium oxide fuel) which will then be used at nuclear power stations.

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