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Game of Thrones: nuclear edition
Australia Looks to Sell Uranium to India

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that his country, which has the biggest known uranium deposits in the world (roughly one third of the total), is keen to sell the mineral to India. The New York Times reports:

India, which now gets more than half its electricity from coal-fired plants, suffers crippling power shortages, and has been trying to develop civilian nuclear energy as an alternative. It has 20 reactors with a capacity of 4,780 megawatts, but just nine are operating at capacity. India hopes to be producing 63,000 megawatts of nuclear energy by 2032.

Securing enough fuel has been a sticking point because of the treaty, which allows signatory countries to possess nuclear weapons only if they tested such weapons before 1967. India, which first tested an atomic weapon in 1974, says the treaty is discriminatory. […]

Mr. Abbott said in a broadcast interview on Tuesday that he was not worried about that issue. “We ought to be prepared to provide uranium to India under suitable safeguards,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “India is a fully functioning democracy with the rule of law, and I think we should be prepared to support India, and that’s what my upcoming visit will be all about.”

India is making other moves to secure its nuclear future: Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Abe made the first moves toward a nuclear deal in Kyoto this past weekend.

Australia’s move is considered controversial by the international community, because India is one of three possibly nuclear-armed states to have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (along with Pakistan and Israel), but not as controversial as it once would have been. The U.S., too, provide support to India’s civil nuclear infrastructure.

Treaty or no treaty, worries over India’s nuclear weapons, it seems, are not serious enough to override international optimism about the Indian state under new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, concerns about India’s need for alternatives to its current dirty power-production infrastructure, and the desire to create a regional alliance to counterbalance China’s rising power.

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  • rheddles

    What’s so great about non-porliferation? Now that the MacDoanald’s rule has been breached, it is still true that no nuclear powers have ever gone to war with eachother. Whereas one formerly nuclear power or and one nuclear aspirant have been attacked by nuclear powers. Seems the only way to be safe from attack by a nuclear power is to be a nuclear power.

  • My Take

    It is worth noting that India who started its nuclear from the beginning in the name of civil technology haven’t fulfilled the desire of poor peoples in India. but the other way around it initiated arms race at large in the region creating instability. Ignoring the peoples situation inside the country where uranium mining is carried on and huge radioactivity is found still bent on increasing its uranium without any proper safe mechanism. The international nuclear regulatory body must address this issue unless the outcome of this would be really disastrous.

  • Andy Sandy

    It is simply not acceptable at this point for Australia to sell uranium to India. Until there is credible and indisputable evidence that India’s nuclear regulator is able to act independently and meets world’s best practices, and that the regulator is vitally committed to staying that way, not a single load of uranium should leave Australia’s shores for India.

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