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Russian Activists Protest Import Of French Nuclear Waste

ST. PETERSBURG -- A dozen or so environmental activists in St. Petersburg have protested the arrival of 480 tons of uranium waste to the city, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The Russian northern navy's "Kapitan Kuroptev" brought the waste from France to St. Petersburg late on January 31.

The waste will be stored in St. Petersburg's port and later transferred to the Siberian chemical plant in Seversk, Tomsk region, for recycling.

Rashid Alimov, an activist of the EKOperestroika (Ecological Perestroika) movement, told RFE/RL that international safety regulations ban the storage of uranium waste in open spaces.

The protesters gathered in central St. Petersburg on February 1 with signs such as "Import of Waste Means Export of Death!" They later went to the French consulate in St. Petersburg to deliver a petition demanding that France stop sending its nuclear waste to Russia.

Alimov said the activities of the St. Petersburg environmentalist groups EKOzashchita (Ecological Protection), EKOperestroyka, and Zeleny Mir (Green Peace) recently led Germany to stop sending its uranium waste to Russia.