From various news sources, it is clear that Australia has concluded Civil nuclear deal with India recently. Uranium trade between Australia and India is likely to start soon. It appears that the deal has been concluded relatively quickly after India elected its new Govt led by Mr Narendra Modi. The agreement is likely to be signed by India and Australia during Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit to India in the first week of September.
Let me also point out that it was Prime Minister John Howard who announced in 2007 that Australian Govt will reverse the ban to sell Uranium to India. It changed when Kevin Rudd became the Prime Minister a few months later and reversed it. Finally, Prime Minister Julia Gillard was the one who campaigned successfully to get ALP reverse its policy to ban Uranium sale to India in Dec 2011, followed by an agreement between Australia and India to start the negotiations on the nitty gritty of the supply agreement in 2012.
I and many from Indian Australian Community are very happy with the improved Australia-India relations.
Congratulations are due to Australian Govt led by Mr Tony Abbott and Indian Govt led by Mr Narendra Modi. Foreign Minister of Australia, Julie Bishop, and Indian Foreign Affairs Minister, Smt Sushma Swaraj, have also played a big role.
India is currently third in the list of countries which use nuclear energy. There are 21 nuclear reactors in India which are producing electricity but India needs to increase such electricity production, knowing electricity shortage. Currently, nuclear energy constitutes only 4% of total electricity production.
Australia has 1/3rd of the total Uranium of the world. This agreement is going to make Uranium supply to India much easier.
As usual, and in a totally predictable manner, Greens Senator, Scott Ludlam, did not like it at all, and used some arguments, which are irrelevant and dated. NPT issue is not relevant in India’s case after India was given an exemption by Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2008. Also, unlike India’s neighbours, India has never been involved in nuclear proliferation.
India is going through the discussions for Civil nuclear trade with Japan currently. Once concluded, India should be able to accelerate nuclear energy production.
Since 2005 onwards, India has already entered into civil nuclear agreements with the US, Mangolia, Namibia, Argentina, the UK, Canada, Kazakhstan and South Korea, France and Russia.
Indian Australian community has a desire to see speedy growth in Australia India relations in all dimensions and aspects.
Dr Yadu Singh