Feeds

No uranium for Russia, say Oz MPs

'Assurances' needed over intended use

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

An Australian parliamentary committee has said that an AU$800m deal to supply Russia with uranium should be put on hold until the latter was able to "assuaged doubts" regarding how it intended to use the material.

Former Oz PM John Howard and Vladimir Putin inked the accord last year, and Russia has insisted "it would only use Australian uranium for civilian purposes, to generate power at home, and would not export it for use elsewhere", as the BBC explains.

However, the committee insisted it needs assurances on Russia's compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and further demanded that any facilities set to receive Australian uranium should be given the once-over by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The committee's report - presented to parliament on Thursday - suggests that "further consideration is given to the potential ramifications for this agreement".

Opposition MPs support the sale, arguing that it's good for business, and that "safeguards against any future military use of the uranium were adequate".

The BBC notes that some reports on the committee's recommendations suggest its stance is influenced by recent events in Georgia. Indeed, Australia's foreign minister Stephen Smith earlier this month "warned that if Russia failed to withdraw its troops from neighbouring Georgia, Australia might withhold approval of the new agreement".

Australia boasts 40 per cent of all the world's uranium reserves. Back in 2006, it agreed to supply China with 20,000 metric tons per year from 2010 for the communist giant's nuclear power industry. The deal was struck in accordance with Australia's policy of selling uranium only to signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty who also sign "a separate bilateral deal stipulating that they will not divert nuclear fuel into weapons programmes".

The then Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, assured: "These agreements establish strict safeguards, arrangements and conditions to ensure Australian uranium supplied to China, and any collaborative programmes in applications of nuclear technology, is used exclusively for peaceful purposes." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.