While this objection should be dealt with, the project offers the transparency and clarity of purpose (and ability to audit funds) that the United States has the leverage to insist upon.If Russia can come to an accommodation with the United States regarding Russia's nuclear reactor projects in Iran, the United States has suggested it would conclude a nuclear cooperation agreement with Russia and authorize the export of U. Although Minatom statements regarding the possible profits resulting from SNF import plans far exceed the revenues from constructing reactors in Iran (particularly since the construction projects are all funded from cheap loans offered by Russia itself), Russia has yet to indicate that it might consider dropping its Iran projects.Although 2,561,000 signatures were submitted to regional election commissions on 25 October 2000, the Russian courts found that 800,000 were invalid (2 million signatures are required), many for technicalities such as "incorrect" street abbreviations.[7,8] The Yabloko political party in particular has made subsequent efforts to gather signatures and hold a referendum, but to date no referendum has been held. S.-origin spent fuel held in third countries for long-term storage. In "Securing Nuclear Weapons and Materials: Seven Steps for Immediate Action," Matthew Bunn, John Holdren and Anthony Wier point out that the United States should not use all of its considerable leverage on the Iran issue.In addition, Yabloko deputy Sergey Mitrokhin has pushed for an investigation into the feasibility study Minatom presented to the Duma when it was considering the laws. They suggest insisting that a portion of the revenues be spent on securing and destroying WMD stockpiles.S.-origin fuel, even if it is able to control much of the earnings (through an arrangement such as the Non-Proliferation Trust) and assists in the construction of safe storage facilities and helps insure the safety of SNF transport.The United States is likely to be blamed in the event of any accident with U.
 "Ob itogakh deyantelnosti Departamenta yaderno-toplivnogo tsikla v 2002 godu," Minatom, 28 July 2003.  Yuriy Sazonov, "Minatom predlagayet alternativu kreditam MVF," Nezavisimaya gazeta online edition, ru, 29 June 1999. Brown, "Ecology and the Human Rights," The Guardian; in "Nam vse eshche navyazyvayut chuzhiye RAO," Zelenyy mir, No.  Angela Charlton, "Russia Expands Nuke Ties With Iran," Associated Press, 26 July 2002.  Charles Digges, "Minatom and Environmentalists Square Off on Ministry Steps Over SNF Imports," Bellona, 22 November 2002.  Ann Mac Lachlan, "Bushehr Spent Fuel Accord Said to be Advancing as U. That agreement specifies that after 40 years, the spent fuel could be removed to another "duly authorized location" or transferred to Minatom for ultimate disposition, at NPT II's sole discretion.According to the second agreement, the spent fuel would never be converted for weapons use or be reprocessed, even were its ownership transferred to Minatom.According to Mitrokhin, reprocessing costs were understated and returns wildly overstated. Yuriy Vishnevskiy, chairman of Russia's Federal Inspectorate for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (Gosatomnadzor), has pointed out other oversights in Minatom's analysis, including "incorrect" assessments of transport problems, the failure of transport containers to meet international standards, and the unsuitability of Mayak for imported SNF storage. Some Russian papers have also suggested that the current National Security Concept, adopted in January 2000, might lead to alterations in the laws on SNF imports, since it identifies the main environmental danger to Russia as "a trend toward the use of Russian territory as a place for reprocessing and burying environmentally dangerous materials and substances." However, there is no indication at present that a new edition of the security concept will expand upon this statement or that the Russian government intends to stop Minatom's SNF import plans for security reasons. In its argument to the Duma in support of the legal change, Minatom laid out six benefits: Although Minatom has yet to begin importing spent fuel from NPPs it did not help construct, it has been negotiating with potential customers for some time. In addition, they argue that effective arrangements (including independent regulation) of the entire operation, the elimination of excess plutonium stockpiles, and a democratic process whereby those most affected by the project might have their concerns effectively addressed, should also be criteria for determining if the project contributes to international security and deserves support. Tom Cochran, a physicist at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.On 17 September 1998, Minatom subsidiary Tekhsnabeksport signed its first letter of intent, with Internexco (a Tekhsnabeksport subsidiary, in Germany) and the Swiss company Suisse Utilities, on the import of over 2,000 tons of SNF for reprocessing and subsequent repatriation between 20. The following year contacts were made with the nuclear industries of Switzerland, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. However, some 80 percent of the non-Russian origin nuclear fuel in the world is of U. C., developed the idea of establishing a non-profit trust located outside of Russia that would control the spent fuel profits, assist in the creation of a safe geologic repository for SNF in Russia, and make sure that all additional profits are spent on securing fissile material, environmental remediation, and the provision of alternative jobs for nuclear workers as well as support for pensioners and orphans, while no funds would be spent on reprocessing plants. A trust, named the Nonproliferation Trust (NPT) Inc., was then established, and on Minatom and NPT signed a memorandum, according to which NPT would hold title to the fuel in storage. An additional agreement, signed on 25 October 1999, also mentions the receipt and disposal of radioactive wastes.S.-origin or other spent fuel, unless the process is opened up to local and national politicians, and there is oversight by Gosatomnadzor and Russian citizens.The Russian public will surely blame a new influx of SNF for stressing their SNF storage system to the brink of collapse, and argue that the storage of imported SNF in "safe" storage facilities takes up space that may otherwise have been used for Russian material (even if the facility might not have been built without SNF import money).  Non-Proliferation Trust II, Long-Term Fissile Materials Safeguards and Security Project, Unpublished Draft, 25 October 1999. This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Minatom avers that it needs SNF import profits to fund domestic SNF reprocessing and environmental remediation, while arguing that the project will help it promote its other exports as well as decrease global proliferation risks. decisions, as the United States controls some 80 percent of the world's SNF. For much of the last decade, the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy (Minatom) has promoted the idea of importing, temporarily storing, reprocessing, and repatriating spent nuclear fuel (material that has been withdrawn from a nuclear reactor following irradiation, or SNF) as a means for generating revenue.Opponents counter that Russia will be unable to handle the additional SNF safely, may store the material indefinitely instead of reprocess it, will not reap the profits it claims or spent them on the environment, and would instead increase proliferation risks. However, Article 50 of the Russian Environmental Protection Law of 1991  prohibited the "import for storing or burying of radioactive waste and materials from abroad...." Although Russian law allowed the import of such materials for reprocessing, Government Decree No.