India, Australia may sign nuclear pact

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by Sridhar, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    Published October 4, 2012 | By admin

    SOURCE: IANS

    Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, whose bold move overturned a longstanding ban on uranium sale to India, comes here Oct 15 on a three-day visit that could see India and Australia sign a landmark civil nuclear pact.

    Gillard’s visit takes place months after a reversal of Canberra’s long-standing policy by the ruling Labour Party on supply of uranium to India, paving the way for the sealing of a civil nuclear deal that could have a force-multiplier effect on broader ties both bilaterally and regionally.

    The agreement on civil nuclear cooperation is likely to be signed during the visit, well-placed sources told IANS.

    The negotiations are, however, set to go down the wire as Australia will be insisting on a stringent uranium safeguards agreement and greater access to Indian nuclear facilities to inspect safe use of uranium supplied to India.

    Australia will be looking to optimise the bargain as the leadership will have to sell the deal to the non-proliferation hawks who are firmly opposed to any uranium deal with a country which has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

    If the negotiations succeed, the India deal will be the first country-to-country agreement by Australia to sell the yellow cake to a country outside the ambit of the NPT.

    A host of factors, including the state of cash-strapped Australian uranium mining industry, has, however, brightened the chances of such a nuclear pact.

    With the global slowdown set to be prolonged, Australian uranium companies like Paladin, Toro and Energy Resources of Australia are pitching for the nuclear deal with India as it will bring them millions of dollars in business.

    Australia has the world’s largest deposits of uranium, but it is only the third-largest supplier at about 7,000 tonnes per year due to high operational costs.

    The India deal could, therefore, prove a godsend for uranium mining companies in Australia, specially as India, unfazed by scepticism about nuclear energy following the Fukushima disaster, is set to ramp up the share of atomic power in the country’s overall energy mix.

    Intensifying trade and investment will be another key theme of Gillard’s India visit. The talks are expected to give a fresh thrust to negotiations on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement which will provide greater market access to Indian exporters of goods and services.

    Bilateral trade grew to $20 billion last year.

    Besides nuclear deal and trade, an array of regional and global issues will also be on the table when Gillard holds talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Gillard will be seeking India’s support for her country’s bid for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

    Amid competing ambitions of the US and China in the Asia-Pacific region, the two sides will be looking to ramp up their cooperation in the 16-nation East Asia summit which the leaders of the two countries will be attending in Cambodia in November.

    Hard diplomacy apart, there will be a spot of soft power diplomacy as well, with the two countries launching a three-month long ‘Oz Fest’ during Gillard’s visit which is expected to create new cultural synergy in bilateral ties
    India, Australia may sign nuclear pact | idrw.org
     
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  3. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    should have occurred a long time ago..
     
  4. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Very good development.

    It took enough diplomacy from India & American influence to bring Australia to other side.
     
  5. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Absolutely the wonderfuls :D
    Jokes apart, what is the trade balance between India and Australia?
    How much improvement are expecting at our end for power generation?
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    what happened to all the talk of NPT,FMCT, etc....?? I guess money means more than these
    treaties?
     
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  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Australia to enter into civil nuclear commerce with India

    Australia to enter into civil nuclear commerce with India - The Times of India

    NEW DELHI: After years of denying uranium to India - even ignoring Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver to India to carry out nuclear commerce - Australia is all set to enter into civil nuclear cooperation with the non-NPT signatory. Government sources here confirmed that Australian PM Julia Gillard visit to India early next week will see a formal announcement of negotiations between the two countries for such a deal.

    The core of the cooperation will be a uranium safeguards agreement which will allow Australia to export uranium to India bypassing opposition from various groups that are opposing the Labor government's decision to overturn the ban on uranium sale to India. Australia, a member of NSG, had supported the group's waiver to India in 2008 but continued with its ban on exporting uranium to India saying that it will not be possible to reverse the ban until India signs NPT.

    "The two sides will announce that negotiations are underway for an agreement which would facilitate supply of uranium from Australia; the agreement may take some time though as negotiations are likely to be lengthy,'' said a government source. Gillard, who was instrumental in Labor's decision to reverse ban, is expected to arrive in India on October 15 for a three-day visit. While this will be her second official visit to India, it will be the first as PM. According to Indian officials, the initiative for the visit came from Gillard herself, who appears keen on mending ties with New Delhi despite the ``snub'' from her counterpart Manmohan Singh last year when he pulled out of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth. In fact, the last Indian PM to have visited Australia was Rajiv Gandhi in 1984.

    The uranium agreement with Australia, apart from ensuring a steady supply of the yellowcake, will also have great symbolic significance for India as it will mark another international `acceptance' of its nuclear weapons programme. The agreement is like to include the same provisions as NPT meant to prevent proliferation and with which India has always agreed in principle despite not having signed the treaty because it allows only five countries to possess nuclear weapons.

    Australian foreign minister Bob Carr said recently that Canberra needed the agreement to be able to supply uranium to India and that it was working New Delhi India to finalize it. "The relationship's in good working order and the thing the Indians wanted out of us most was a decision to sell them uranium for the peaceful development of nuclear power which is a major strategic goal for them and I think an environmental plus for the planet," he was quoted as having said.
     
  8. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    This signing of contract can take years.

    Proposed sales of Australian uranium to India are set to dominate Julia Gillard's visit to New Delhi.

    Ms Gillard arrived in New Delhi last night at the start of a three-day visit which will include meetings with Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and other senior ministers to discuss trade and cultural ties.

    But sales of uranium to the nuclear-armed South Asian powerhouse are set to dominate the discussions.

    Last year the Prime Minister convinced Labor to overturn a long standing policy that barred uranium exports to nuclear-armed India because it had not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    Labor's about turn angered the Greens and sections of the ALP.


    Ms Gillard insists India is a reliable country that will use the uranium in a responsible manner.

    But Indian anti-nuclear activists are warning Australia not to get involved, claiming India's nuclear facilities are unsafe and one step away from disaster.

    "We know how to negotiate these agreements and we've done it in the past, and we've done it on the basis that Australian uranium is only used for peaceful purposes," Ms Gillard said.

    "I formed the view as Prime Minister that it was appropriate for us to sell uranium to India, and that it had become an obstacle in our relationship that we were not."

    Australia holds 40 per cent of the world's known uranium reserves, but a final deal to export Australian uranium to India could be years away.

    India first tested a nuclear device back in 1974, and is estimated to have almost 100 nuclear weapons.

    It also has significant civilian program, with 20 nuclear power stations currently supplying just under 4 per cent of the nation's electricity.

    India currently has agreements with at least eight countries to supply its nuclear energy program and there are plans for many more reactors to be built to supply up to 10 per cent of the country's energy needs.

    India only uses domestically-sourced material for its weapons program and the former head of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation office, John Carlson, says it would be unlikely India would funnel Australian uranium into its military activities.

    "They have an independent military program which is clearly sufficient for their needs," he said.

    "Now that India has taken the decision that it wants to import nuclear technology and nuclear material from around the world, it's clearly important for India to maintain security of supply for those materials.

    "Therefore I think our starting assumption would be there would be no reason why they would violate agreements that would led to a stoppage of supply."

    India has yet to have a serious accident at a nuclear plant but there are concerns about safety standards at its facilities and there is a growing anti-nuclear movement, with a number of people killed during a long running protest against the commissioning of a new reactor in Tamil Nadu.

    PK Sundaram from the Coalition of Nuclear Disarmament and Peace says authorities are "handling democratic and peaceful protests in a most brutal and oppressive manner which is totally unacceptable in a civil society and a democratic country."


    India's auditor-general has found gaping holes in the safety standards governing nuclear facilities, warning that India faces the possibility of a disaster along the lines of Chernobyl or Fukushima.

    PK Sundaram is adamant that Ms Gillard has made the wrong choice.

    "We urge her to roll back this decision, to reconsider this decision," he said.

    Greens Leader Christine Milne says if Australia sells uranium to India, then it will be complicit in any nuclear accidents there.

    "India is likely to have an accident and if Australia sells uranium to India we are complicit in that, and no amount of the Prime Minister saying we are going to have some sort of reasonable agreement is going to shield us from the fact," she said.

    Agreement 'key'

    The head of Canadian uranium miner Cameco says a bilateral nuclear agreement with India will be key to building Australia's uranium industry.

    Cameco does not yet produce uranium in Australia, but it owns a joint venture project to build a mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

    Cameco Australia managing director Brian Reilly has told Radio National that he believes Australia will be one of the world's top uranium producers.

    "India represents a large market opportunity for any uranium fuel supplier, including Canada," he said.

    "The main driver in our market, no surprise, is the demand coming from China, however India announced a program for construction of new nuclear power plants second only to China in its scale."

    Since the ban on uranium sales to India was lifted last year, work has been under way to develop a safeguards treaty and put in place legislation that would enable sales to begin.

    Ms Gillard is set to meet Mr Singh and Congress Party head Sonia Gandhi later in the week.
     
  9. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Russians and the new Aussie government have one thing in common.
    They are aggressive in marketing and selling what they've got for good bucks. Be it technology or resources.
    They don't give a rat's ass to whatever objections are raised.
     
  10. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    that's exactly right LF - it's always money and now with these crises - even more so !

    rich + military power = political force = you can do what you like ( almost )

    and that's also why i always write against the urgency to be on the UNSC permanent membership etc, we can defend ourselves and p5 membership wont help , not much ....india is already militarily quite something , so now concentrate on economic power

    .....getting india into G8 understandably with china slightly ahead of us - into a newly formed G10 ) should be our priority - then they will INVITE us into P5 ( and we dont need brazil and germany tagging along, and forget G20 - it's too huge , a mess )
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
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  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    what exactly is the big deal about UNSC? I rather see NSG membership more than
    UNSC which will come with a lot of conditions.
     
  12. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    India, Australia take first steps on nuclear deal as PM Julia Gillard agreed to open negotiations

    NEW DELHI: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday agreed to open negotiations to export uranium nuclear fuel to India after meeting her counterpart Manmohan Singh in New Delhi.

    The deal, which will provide a boost for India's civilian nuclear ambitions, comes after Australia reversed its policy of refusing to sell uranium to India as it has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh welcomed the decision of the Australian government on uranium sales to India, noting that nuclear energy will play an important role in India's future energy needs," a joint statement said.

    "India and Australia (will) commence negotiations on a bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement which, for Australia, is a prerequisite for uranium sales to other countries," it added.

    Gillard overcame opposition within her own Labor party to reverse the ban last year, arguing that the deal was necessary to improve ties with one of Asia's biggest economies.

    The two countries will now kick off formal discussions, but have warned that negotiations are likely to last up to two years.

    New Delhi won a special exemption in 2008 from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which governs global nuclear trade, to allow it to buy reactors and fuel from overseas.

    Singh hailed Wednesday's announcement as recognition of India's "record and credentials" on civil nuclear power and expressed his appreciation to Australia.

    Gillard said the proposed sale of uranium was "personally important" to her as she had led the campaign for a change in Australian policy -- attracting fierce criticism from some environmentalists and anti-nuclear groups.

    Gillard earlier said that negotiations would guarantee that the uranium would be used only for peaceful purposes and in safe conditions, and that the deal would be overseen by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    New Delhi has sought to forge close ties with a host of countries with deposits of uranium, including Mongolia, Namibia and Tajikistan alongside Kazakhstan and Canada.

    India is heavily dependent on coal and produces less than three percent of its energy from its existing atomic plants. The government hopes to raise the figure to 25 percent by 2050.

    Although Australia does not use nuclear power itself, it is the world's third-ranking uranium producer and holds an estimated 23 percent of the world's reserves.

    It already ships the nuclear fuel to China, Japan, Taiwan and the United States.

    Countries are normally required to have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and open their reactors to international scrutiny before they can buy atomic technology and uranium.

    On Wednesday morning, Gillard attracted widespread press attention when she fell to the ground in front of TV cameras after the heel of her shoe became stuck in grass at a memorial park to Mahatma Gandhi.

    She was unhurt and laughed off the incident.

    India, Australia take first steps on nuclear deal as PM Julia Gillard agreed to open negotiations - The Economic Times
     
  13. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Gillard aims to rescript economic, strategic ties with India

    Australian PM says both countries had set the target of doubling bilateral trade to $40 bn by 2015

    Gillard aims to rescript ties with India - Livemint
     
  14. vishwaprasad

    vishwaprasad Regular Member

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    we have largest thorium stocks in the sand of rameshwaram and instead of putting R&D and money into developing our own thorium based nuclear program we are making foreign countries richer and our corrupt leaders are earning commission by buying uranium from Australia, Canada....
     
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  15. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    hopefully , if they are shrewd , and i think they might be , then they are doing both - namely getting uranium for certain equipment that work only on that , and also pushing ahead with the thorium developments ....... anil kakodkar and company are not the kind of people to give up everything and become some kind of puppets to foreign manipulation ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
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  16. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India's nuclear program is always going to have a need for uranium it will never
    be a 100% thorium program. When the US nuclear deal under Bush MMS should
    have asked for NSG membership with deal that would have saved many years.
     
  17. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    but india has the right to openly and legally deal in nuclear trade with nsg members ? - if so that is a solid first step ...and CCP-dragon fought tooth and nail to prevent it
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  18. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    read the text and you will find it - - UNIMPRESSIVE ! ..who is she - leader of non G8 economy to tell the 2nd largest nation ?

    had dealing with aus - blockheaded and clumsy bunch and knowing thier ancestry makes it understandable

    mms should make it clear that if they try to be too choosy we will dump them and get from the kazakhs and mongollians ........ the canadians too are much nicer

    any haggling or blockages from down under and we should dump them and go for the alternatives
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
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  19. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Membership would allow India to also export to NSG members.
     
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  20. arkem8

    arkem8 Regular Member

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    [​IMG]

    The picture says it all....
     
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  21. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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