Sunday, November 23, 2008

Time for Australia to relent on the issue of uranium sales to India.

The United States has signalled its dismay with China’s decision to assist Pakistan with the construction and operation of two new nuclear reactors:

China for its part is not really taking a lot of notice, and can be expected to move ahead with the deal. It is known that Pakistan is the nation with possibly the worst nuclear proliferation record in the world. Potential nuclear proliferation is, of course, the justification given by the Rudd government for not selling Australian uranium to India. Funnily enough, China’s long-standing relationship with Pakistan raised no red flags over the issue of uranium sales to China. In fact, Martin Ferguson is quite chirpy over the deal:

It’s true Australia has insisted that Australian uranium only be used in certain designated reactors for electricity production, but since uranium is a fungible commodity this doesn’t really mean much. Uranium China has purchased from elsewhere will now be freed up for use in Pakistani reactors, and, who knows, perhaps eventually Pakistani bombs.

If we are willing to sell uranium to China and thus indirectly facilitate supplies to China’s allies such as Pakistan, why are we refusing to sell uranium to India? Surely it is in our interests to join with our western allies in fostering a strategic relationship with this emergent Great Power, not to mention our environmental interests to assist India to develop its CO2-free energy sector.

1 comment:

Rod Adams said...


I think you have answered your own question. Australia is selling a LOT of uranium and coal to China, a longstanding rival to India and a good friend of Pakistan, another Indian rival.

Perhaps there is an unspoken relationship between the decision to sell to China and refuse to sell to India.