Expert claims Australia sales of Uranium to India Will Yield Minimal Dollar Profit

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Australia‘s decision to reopen uranium sale to India will have minimal benefits in dollar terms to Australia, a foreign policy expert told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Last Sunday, the Australian Labor government voted to overturn ban on uranium sales to India at the Labor’s national conference, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that the move would boost trade and enhance Australia’s relationship with India.

“Existing nuclear programs in Japan, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan of China will take heart from the decision as will those aspiring to develop nuclear power in Vietnam and Indonesia,” he said.

However, he said that in dollar terms the benefits to Australia of uranium sales will be minimal, especially given the substantial foreign ownership of mining.

Australian federal Trade Minister Craig Emerson earlier assured that adequate safeguards will be put in place before uranium is exported to India, and said that India has given a series of undertakings including a moratorium on future nuclear testing, signing up to the agency’s additional protocol and splitting its civilian nuclear technology from the military program.

However, Reynolds said the safeguards are a fiction given that India is a declared nuclear power.

“Full-scope safeguards will cover the civil program but there is no talk of the so-called Additional Protocol of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which targeted non- nuclear weapon states,” he said, adding “in any event, as many commentators have noted, the capacity to track declared uranium is almost impossible.”

Source: Xinhuanet

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