Australian news, and some related international items

Australian uranium sales to Russia, a backward step for peace and global safety

The Australian Greens have condemned the Federal Government for striking a deal to sell uranium to Russia’s power industry.Greens nuclear issues spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the deal announced today was environmentally irresponsible and a drastic step backwards for nuclear disarmament.

“Russia has a nuclear energy sector known for low safety and environmental standards, the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, is a key part of the Iranian nuclear programme and has not been visited by IAEA inspectors since 2001,” he said. “The case against selling uranium to Russia is undeniable.”

Senator Ludlam said the spread of weapons grade material is “the underbelly of the uranium mining industry”.

“The very real security and proliferation concerns of uranium deals with Russia were spelled out forensically by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) in 2008. The Government has blindly dismissed these warnings. This is an example of short term profits taking precedence over long-term health and security interests.”

Under a 1990 arrangement Australian uranium could be processed in Russia for a third country’s use but could not be used for power generation in Russia.

“That was because of the dreadful standards in the Russian nuclear power sector,” said Senator Ludlam. “This deal is a decision the Australian Government will regret.”


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

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