Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

New, less safe, nuclear deal between Australia and India?

India-uranium1Nuclear deal: Australia’s uranium deal with India may include weaker monitoring safeguards ABC News, 19 Nov 13, By Stephanie March Australia’s agreement to sell uranium to India could include weaker monitoring safeguards than the nuclear deals Australia has with other countries.

A third round of nuclear cooperation agreement talks are due to take place later this month and both governments say they want the deal settled quickly.

In the past, Australia has required countries to which it sells uranium to track the material more closely than is required by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Andrew Davies from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute says the IAEA tracks aggregate quantities of uranium but does not monitor exactly where uranium sent to India from Australia ends up. “For example, if 100 tonnes goes into a civilian nuclear program and 90 tonnes of product comes out, they don’t know where the missing product was diverted from,” he said.

The ABC understands India says it does not have the capacity to provide additional monitoring beyond what is required by the IAEA.

Speaking in New Delhi, Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, told the ABC she was reluctant to comment on the talks while they were underway.

“I am not going to get ahead of the negotiations and consider hypotheticals,” she said…… India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and only in recent years started taking steps to separate its military and civilian nuclear programs.

Last year, a report from the Indian auditor-general found the country’s nuclear safety regulator was weak and unable to properly monitor the industry.

Ms Bishop says Australia will support India joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-19/australia27s-nuclear-deal-with-india/5101030

November 19, 2013 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international

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