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BRITAIN and China have finally joined the international ban on dumping nuclear wastes at sea. The two countries, Russia, Belgium and France had abstained when the London Convention - a worldwide treaty on sea pollution - was adopted by, 72 nations in November 1993. Belgium and France later indicated their acceptance of the ban, but Russia insists it needs to keep dumping until 1996.

The convention, which came into effect February 22, prohibits the discarding of low and intermediate level radioactive waste. The ban is directed mainly at waste to be generated by decommissioning nuclear submarines and reactors and also envisages phasing out industrial dumping and incineration at sea.

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