Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Australia Again Refuses to Sell Uranium to India
Australia today rebuffed a new request to allow the export of uranium to India due to the South Asian state's continued refusal to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Reuters reported (see GSN, Aug. 12, 2010).
In a private meeting in Melbourne with Australian Resources Minister Martin Ferguson, Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna asked that Canberra make an exception in its nuclear trade policy.
"The policy of the Australian government is clear -- we will only supply uranium to countries that are signatories to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and have signed a bilateral agreement with Australia," Ferguson said following the meeting. "This is not a policy specific to India, it applies equally to all countries."
Indian Joint Secretary Shri Arun K. Goel earlier in the week said he would like to see Canberra "revisit" its stance on the matter.
"In terms of our quest for energy resources, access to uranium supply remains a core issue for us," he said. New Delhi today imports the material from France, Russia and Kazakhstan, and is looking into deals with Mongolia, Nigeria and South Africa, according to Reuters.
In 2007, then-Australian Prime Minister John Howard leaned toward making a uranium-export exception for India if the nuclear armed nation agreed to join U.N. and Australian nuclear safeguards deals. When Howard's Conservative Party was unseated by the Labor Party in elections that year, the new leaders quickly reversed course on the understanding with India.
The new Labor government has contended that permitting uranium sales to India would undermine the NPT accord. Australia's posture on uranium sales, though, is set to be reassessed and potentially brought up for a new vote at a December meeting between union backers and the Labor Party.
In 2008, the Bush administration finalized a civilian nuclear trade deal with India that permitted U.S. nuclear firms to export their material and technology to the energy-hungry state. The Nuclear Suppliers Group has also allowed its members to pursue peaceful atomic trade with New Delhi (Rob Taylor, Reuters, Jan. 19).
In the South Asian state this week, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said, "While India has a good regulatory body, there is need for more transparency," Daily News & Analysis reported.
As part of its trade deal with Washington, India agreed to permit IAEA monitors to inspect its nonmilitary nuclear installations.
"Access to nuclear power should not be the sole prerogative of the developed countries," Amano said. However, "with this right to equal access for peaceful purposes, these nations also have the same responsibility to ensure the highest safety standards and to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists" (Yogesh Pawar, Daily News & Analysis, Jan. 17).
Sept. 27, 2013
A fact sheet on current and projected costs of maintaining the U.S. nuclear deterrent, produced by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
July 18, 2013
The submarine proliferation resource collection is designed to highlight global trends in the sale and acquisition of diesel- and nuclear-powered submarines. It is structured on a country-by-country basis, with each country profile consisting of information on capabilities, imports and exports.
Australia ranked at the top of the NTI Index. Learn more about its policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.