Australian news, and some related international items

Australian govt disregards expert committee, in selling uranium to Russia

The Federal Government’s decision to sell uranium to Russia flies in the face of the recommendations of a parliamentary committee and fuels global nuclear insecurity,

Australian Conservation Foundation, David Noonan, David Sweeney, 12 Nov 2010, In 2008 the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties recommended the Government not proceed with a treaty to export uranium to Russia.

The Committee’s report said Australia should not sell uranium to the nuclear weapon-equipped state unless Russia allowed International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of all Russian facilities and there was independent verification that Russia’s military and civilian nuclear industries were not linked.  These conditions have not been met.

The federal government’s decision to sell uranium to Russia puts the interests of one contested industry ahead of Australia’s national interest and global responsibilities,” said ACF Nuclear Free Campaigner, David Noonan.

Australia cannot hope to be a leader on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament while spreading nuclear risks by trying to become the world’s largest uranium supplier.

Australia’s international responsibilities should not be compromised to suit the commercial interests of BHP Billiton, which hopes to increase sales of uranium from its proposed new open pit mine at Olympic Dam.

It is ironic that as Australians paused around the country on the eleventh day of the eleventh month to remember the human price of war, our Prime Minister was in Seoul, a city in the shadow of a nuclear threat, signing a secret and shabby deal that will directly fuel global nuclear uncertainty.

Complete separation of military and civilian nuclear sectors and nuclear disarmament from weapons states should be preconditions to all Australia’s uranium sales.”

November 12, 2010 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, uranium | , , , ,

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