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Supply of Australian uranium to India.



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PRIME MINISTER

SUPPLY OF AUSTRALIAN URANIUM TO INDIA

I wish to announce that the Australian Government has decided to allow the export of uranium to India, subject to strict conditions. I have today informed Prime Minister Singh of this decision, which he welcomed.

This change in policy is subject to: • conclusion of a suitable safeguards agreement between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) covering all designated civil nuclear facilities; • conclusion by India of an Additional Protocol on strengthened

safeguards; • a consensus decision by the Nuclear Suppliers Group to make an exception to its guidelines enabling international civil supply to India; • conclusion of a bilateral civil nuclear co-operation agreement between

India and the United States; and • satisfactory progress in implementing India’s commitment to place designated civil nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards in perpetuity.

Australian uranium supply to India would also be conditional on the conclusion of a bilateral Australia-India safeguards agreement providing assurances that Australian uranium would remain in peaceful uses at all times, supported by satisfactory verification arrangements to ensure that no Australian nuclear materials supplied to India would contribute to any military purpose.

India is the world’s largest democracy, an increasingly influential regional power and an important potential strategic partner for Australia. This decision is one key element of a comprehensive package of measures the Government is taking to strengthen this important relationship. Contingent on the conditions above being met, it will be of significant economic and strategic advantage to

both countries.

In Australia it will create increased exports and jobs over the longer term. The industry already generates $658 million annually in exports, and India will be a large and growing market. India’s requirement for reliable, clean sources of

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energy is growing rapidly. India will build 11 new reactors to triple her energy generation from nuclear power and is projected to need up to 12,000 tonnes of uranium per annum to 2032.

Assisting India to meet her rapidly growing energy needs using low emission energy sources such as nuclear power will make a huge contribution to reducing global greenhouse emissions. The use of nuclear power today already reduces global emissions by more than 2 billion tonnes a year.

As well as assisting India to pursue economic development while addressing environmental challenges, the decision recognises India’s strong non-proliferation record and will help to bring India more fully into the non-proliferation mainstream.

16 August 2007

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