Oz signals change on uranium
There are indications of India getting uranium from Australia, the biggest depository of the yellowcake in the world, after a report commissioned on Tuesday in Tokyo by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his Japanese counterpart recommended some changes to the nuclear non-proliferation (NPT) regime.india Updated: Dec 16, 2009 00:18 IST
There are indications of India getting uranium from Australia, the biggest depository of the yellowcake in the world, after a report commissioned on Tuesday in Tokyo by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his Japanese counterpart recommended some changes to the nuclear non-proliferation (NPT) regime.
The chapter on strengthening the non-proliferation disciplines outside the NPT, in the report, admits that since “nuclear armed” India, like Pakistan and Israel, is not likely to become members, efforts should be made to get their commitments in the parallel “instruments” that in turn can give them access to “nuclear materials and technology for civilian purposes on the same basis as an NPT member.”
The report adds “provided they satisfy strong objective criteria demonstrating commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation, and sign up to specific future commitments in this respect, these states should have access to nuclear materials and technology for civilian purposes on the same basis as an NPT member.
India’s position is that NPT regime is “discriminatory and flawed” and sources here see no chance in the NPT countries willing to accommodate any new members soon.
Australia has stuck to the position that it will not sell the material to any country that hasn’t ratified the NPT.
Sources here said that, however the report hasn’t taken into account the “the differentiated nuclear histories record of all the nuclear states” — an apparent reference to Pakistan’s proliferation records.
“The advocacy of non-proliferation disciplines for non-NPT states also ignores India’s existing commitments and responsible behaviour in comparison with the NPT five and Pakistan”.
Sources say experts in Australia have viewed this as an indication of India getting uranium from their country, and it is being reported in the Australian media after the commissioning of the report.
“…It’s a call that the Australian government has to take as our commitments to non-proliferation is well-known,” sources said.
“I think it’s pretty self-evident that the ban on supplying uranium to India is a lost cause,” commission co-chairman and former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans was quoted as saying by the The Age.
The International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament is a joint initiative of the Australian and Japanese governments.