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Uranium sale to India viable: Australian report

india Updated: Dec 05, 2006 12:21 IST
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Australia could sell uranium to India without increasing the risks of weapons proliferation, a nuclear industry report tabled in the federal parliament has said.

The report, from a bipartisan committee, finds "sound reasons to allow an exception to Australia's export policy in order to permit uranium sales to India".

It says it is "conceivable" that Australian uranium sales would "not undermine the non-proliferation regime".

But the report from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry and Resources stops short of recommending a change to Australia's current policy, which prevents uranium sales to countries outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, The Age newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Prime Minister John Howard has said that the policy may be changed in the future, particularly in the wake of the recent nuclear co-operation agreement between the US and India.

The report also calls for an expansion of uranium mining, the possible development of enrichment and conversion facilities, and the removal of bans on nuclear power plants.

It urges the industry to better educate the public about the sector y including allowing schoolchildren to visit uranium mines.

The proposal has outraged the Australian Greens party whose energy spokesperson Christine Milne said, "It seems that school students are to become the new battleground in the Government's nuclear offensive."

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