A British ship carrying 70 tons of Japanese radioactive waste was escorted to a Pearl Harbor pier by the Coast Guard for refueling yesterday while environmentalists failed to obtain a court order banning it from Hawaiian waters.

The 338-foot Pacific Fisher, with a cargo of spent fuels rods from Japanese nuclear plants, arrived four hours ahead of its scheduled six-hour stop for reprovisioning in Honolulu Harbor and was hurriedly escorted to a secure location in the sprawling naval base.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco was considering an appeal of a federal District Court's refusal to grant a temporary restraining order banning the ship from Hawaiian waters.

on Thursday, Hawaii Gov. George Ariyoshi closed the commercial harbor to the ship. But within an hour of that decision, Defense Secretary Harold Brown intervened and local Navy officials invited the Pacific Fisher to reprovision at Pearl Harbor.

In Washington, a Navy spokesman said the governor's ban "came on very short notice, leaving the ship without other means to refuel and reprovision," so the Navy allowed it to refuel at Pearl Harbor. But the spokesman said the decision was limited to the Pacific Fisher.