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Monday, 24 May 1965

Senator PALTRIDGE - The Minister for National Development has supplied the following answers -

1.   The negotiation between France and Canada for the supply of uranium oxide to France is the only major new activity in the world uranium market known at present. The French interest is in securing forward supplies for the 1970's, and information available suggests that perhaps other countries are beginning to consider their requirements for uranium oxide in that period as their own plans for nuclear power installations become better defined. These indications offer some hope for a slightly earlier revival of the demand for uranium than had been forecast. But such hopes cannot yet be substantiated by firm evidence beyond the single case of the Franco-Canadian negotiations.

2.   The stock of uranium oxide already processed is about 600 tons.

3.   The question of selling uranium oxide from stocks available at Rum Jungle is continually under review and the Australian Atomic Energy Commission keeps in close touch with market possi bilities overseas. However, in considering the possibility of sales, regard has to be given to the need to ensure proper safeguards to prevent the diversion of material from civil to military purposes and the need to obtain a realistic price having regard to the intrinsic value of the material.

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