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Tuesday, 1 May 1984
Page: 1450

(Question No. 712)


Senator Coleman asked the Minister for Resources and Energy, upon notice, on 8 March 1984:

Do President Reagan's stated plans to use nuclear waste for making nuclear weapons contravene the Australia-United States Bilateral Agreement.


Senator Walsh —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

The 1979 agreement between Australia and the United States concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energy provides that Australian origin nuclear material shall be used for peaceful and non-explosive purposes only and that it shall remain subject to IAEA safeguards until it is no longer usable for any nuclear activity relevant from the point of view of safeguards.

I am not aware of any reports of plans formulated by President Reagan or his Administration which would breach the United States' firm international legal undertaking to Australia in this regard. If the honourable senator could provide the source which prompted her question I will have it investigated.