Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian government using a loophole to evade international non-proliferation treaties, to get nuclear submarines?

“interesting interpretation” that the government would try to qualify for an exemption from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inspection regime by claiming military submarines, which will be fuelled with weapons grade uranium, are for peaceful purposes.”

Labor questions whether nuclear subs breach international law,   AFR,  Andrew Tillett, Political correspondent, 30 Nov 21,  Labor MPs have raised concerns about Australia breaching its non-proliferation obligations under the Morrison government’s plan to acquire nuclear-powered submarines from Britain and the United States.

Parliament’s Treaties Committee has begun a snap inquiry into the first element under the AUKUS deal, an agreement between the three countries to allow the sharing of highly classified nuclear technology with Australian officials.

The nuclear agreement also covers training opportunities for Australian submariners and technicians with the British and American programs.

Under the AUKUS pact, the government will acquire up to eight nuclear-powered submarines, promising they will be built in Adelaide. The first is due to be delivered sometime before 2040.

The government is adamant the nuclear submarine deal will not be a precursor to acquiring nuclear weapons.

The inquiry is due to report by December 17 but at its first hearing on Monday, Labor MP Josh Wilson highlighted significant uncertainty over the government’s plan to use a loophole in the international nuclear safety regime, which had never been used before, to acquire the submarines.

Mr Wilson and fellow Labor MP Peter Khalil grilled officials from the Defence, Foreign Affairs and Attorney-General’s departments over how Australia could acquire nuclear-powered submarines while still complying with its obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

Training ‘needs to start now’

Mr Wilson said it was an “interesting interpretation” that the government would try to qualify for an exemption from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inspection regime by claiming military submarines, which will be fuelled with weapons grade uranium, are for peaceful purposes.

“If it was determined that was acceptable, we will have broken new ground in weakening the existing non-proliferation regime,” Mr Wilson observed……….. https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/questions-over-whether-nuclear-subs-breach-international-law-20211129-p59d0h

November 30, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, personal stories, weapons and war

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