Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s uranium to Russia, country with worst safety record!

New Risks from Australia Russia Uranium Deal
Melbourne, 12 November 2010: The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Australia is deeply disappointed at Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s ratification of a nuclear cooperation agreement that will see Australia selling uranium to Russia.

“The move will see Australia supplying uranium to a country with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, and the largest stockpile of weapons-usable material, much of it inadequately secured,” said ICAN Chair Associate Professor Tilman Ruff.

“Russia has the world’s worst record of nuclear accidents and radioactive contamination of the global environment. Russia is the known or likely source of most episodes of smuggled nuclear material, including the episode in Georgia just this week.

“Russia continues to develop new nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and continues to fail its legally binding obligation to disarm. Russian nuclear facilities are effectively off-limits to international inspectors.

ICAN Australia also points to the unanimous recommendations of the parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) that Australia should not proceed with uranium sales to Russia until significant security measures were addressed. Few if any of these measures have been addressed since the report.

“One of the Committee’s recommendations was that Australia should not export uranium to until ‘Russia’s reform process to clearly separate its civilian nuclear and military nuclear facilities is completed and independently verified.’ This has not happened,” said Ruff.

“With an arsenal of around 12,000 nuclear weapons, Russia remains a block to global expectations for nuclear disarmament, and Australia’s expansion of uranium sales to this nuclear rogue is unwelcome news. We cannot be confident either now or in the future that Australian uranium exported to Russia could not end up in a Russian or a terrorist nuclear weapon,” he said.

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

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