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No-go on India nuclear deal

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Media Release 8 September 2015

No-go on India nuclear deal

The Greens have welcomed a report from the Joint Standing Committee On Treaties (JSCOT) that has just been tabled in the House of Representatives, recommending Tony Abbott’s intention to sell Australian uranium to India should not go ahead at this time.

JSCOT member Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said:

“This cross-party committee identified that more than 60% of inspections of operating or existing nuclear reactors are up to five months late or do not occur at all, that there is no clear independent regulator and insufficient distinction between civilian and military applications of the nuclear industry.

“The Greens share JSCOT’s view that: the Australian Government cannot overlook such clear warnings about the quality of India’s nuclear regulatory framework,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.

Greens spokesperson on nuclear issues, Senator Scott Ludlam, added:

“The report clearly recommends no sales to India until a set of detailed preconditions are met. It should be impossible for the Abbott government to interpret this report as a green light for the sale of Australian yellowcake.

“To proceed with this agreement puts the interest of a small and marginal industry ahead of global security.

“Selling uranium to India, which has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is inconsistent with our global obligations and as the Committee pointed out, ‘may destabilise the international non-proliferation architecture,’ compromising our relations with other NPT signatories.

“Submissions to JSCOT by former senior Australian bureaucrats demonstrate the very real risk of Australian uranium being diverted for nuclear weapons and the very clear agenda by the Indian Government to expand their nuclear weapons program.

“The dangers of pushing forward with this Agreement are intensified by industry and Governments readiness to downplay the well-established risk of Australian uranium being diverted nuclear weapons,” Senator Ludlam concluded.

Media contacts: Senator Whish-Wilson - Tim Beshara 0409 164 603 Senator Ludlam - Trish Cowcher 0408 533 877