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Selling uranium to India could make world safer.

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Forum' started by Perceptron, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Perceptron

    Perceptron BANNED

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    Selling uranium to India could make world safer.
    [HR][/HR]
    August 8, 2012
    Crispin Rovere
    [HR][/HR]

    The question of uranium exports to India has cut fissures in Australian society almost as deep as the mines from which the mineral is extracted. Nevertheless, exporting uranium to India may actually help nuclear disarmament.

    It is true that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ranks among the most successful arms control agreements in history. Only three states refuse to sign (India, Israel, and Pakistan) with one withdrawn (North Korea). Yet the NPT is not an end in itself. It is a means to a much higher objective; the emancipation of humanity from the dangers of nuclear war.

    The 2005 US-India nuclear deal seriously undermined the bargain inherent in the NPT. Since then, nine other countries have negotiated or are in the process of negotiating nuclear cooperation agreements with India, including four of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. This means that when it comes to exporting uranium to India, Australia is no longer a partner in a global effort, but is instead sitting isolated out in the cold. The belief that Australia should refuse uranium exports to India, however nobly intended, promises to be an unmitigated failure.

    A no-exports policy is based on three myths:

    Myth 1 - India's need for Australian uranium can influence India to sign the NPT.

    Both parts of the above statement are untrue. India may like to purchase uranium from Australia, but this will not be an imperative for India for the foreseeable future. At present, nuclear power accounts for only 2.5 per cent of India's total energy production. Nor will India ever sign the NPT. Article IX.3 of the NPT makes clear that only states that exploded a nuclear device before 1967 are considered Nuclear Weapons States for the purposes of the treaty. India would have to completely disarm itself of its nuclear arsenal before acceding to the NPT. Faced with two threatening nuclear powers on its borders (China and Pakistan), asking India to disarm unilaterally is not realistic.

    Myth 2 - Exporting Australian uranium to India, even under safeguards, frees up other uranium to expand India's nuclear arsenal. As former Director-General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office , John Carlson, succinctly pointed out; an average nuclear power reactor consumes about 200 tonnes of natural uranium per annum; whereas nuclear bombs need only about five tonnes before enrichment. Therefore a state will always be able to procure the uranium required for a weapons program; the challenge of developing nuclear weapons is largely technical. Moreover, uranium is an interchangeable currency when it comes to electricity generation. In this respect, Australia exporting coal to India has exactly the same impact of ''freeing up uranium reserves'' as exporting uranium.

    Myth 3 - Australia not exporting uranium to India is a matter of principle, regardless of what other countries may do.

    Not entirely. We export uranium to China, which is a member of the NPT and permitted nuclear weapons under the treaty, even though China was instrumental in the development of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. It is small wonder then that New Delhi has been so scornful of Australia's position; we export uranium to China which has failed to meet its obligations, while refusing India which maintains an excellent non-proliferation record, despite having no formal obligation to do so. The Australian government should demand, as part of a uranium export deal, that India ratifies the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty after the US Senate. While India won't sign the NPT, a commitment tying India's ratification of the CTBT to the US Senate would be both politically digestible for India domestically, as well as being an important step toward nuclear weapons abolition. This is because decisions regarding the expansion of nuclear forces are largely made in response to actions taken by other nuclear states. China expands its arsenal in response to the nuclear superiority of the United States; India responds to China, which in turn influences Pakistan. These interconnected relationships make a nuclear arms race in this region both likely and frightening. If the United States ratifies the CTBT, China has said that it will follow suit. If China and India both ratify the CTBT, it will be politically difficult for Pakistan to resist. Without the right to test, nuclear modernisation becomes more difficult and an unrestrained nuclear arms race made less likely.

    Australia's responsibility to promote non-proliferation transcends any individual policy, including the NPT, and must be adapted to evolving circumstances. If New Delhi commits to tying ratification of the CTBT to the US Senate, the government can truthfully tell the Australian people that our export of uranium to India has advanced global disarmament objectives.
     
  2. DARIUS

    DARIUS FULL MEMBER

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    Selling Radioactive substances (capable of being weaponised and thereby also capable of bringing widespread destruction to life and property and making vast expanses of land radioactivefor maybe a 100 years or so) to any country be it India, Pakistan or any other country could never be productive and safety is the last thing that the writer of this column should speak of!!Safety could only be ensured in a nuclear free world!!I know most people would not agree and speak about Nuclear deterrence,no first use and all that. . . .to those people I would humbly request them to go and speak with the people of HIROSHIMA and NAGASAKI!!
     
  3. illusion8

    illusion8 ELITE MEMBER

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    Is it just me or does that sound like complete hogwash to anybody else as well, looks like convincing oneself about something and vindicating oneself from an earlier taken false stand.
     
  4. Damadji

    Damadji FULL MEMBER

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    India is the most peaceful and responsible nation.
     
  5. Screambowl

    Screambowl BANNED

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    bring electricity, make >India more socially secure state.
     
  6. Break the Silence

    Break the Silence FULL MEMBER

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    Let them sell each and every ounce of Uranium, wiith nothjing left for world, Here with Mr. Manmohan singh, We can assure of "SAFE WORLD". :)
     
  7. Hellraiser007

    Hellraiser007 FULL MEMBER

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    Good article
     
  8. tvsram1992

    tvsram1992 SENIOR MEMBER

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    :D We tested nuclear device just 14 years back . Its not safety record or :blah: its money . :what:
     
  9. jbgt90

    jbgt90 ELITE MEMBER

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    ^^ actually we tested our first device in 74'.
     
  10. tvsram1992

    tvsram1992 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Thats peaceful explosion Smiling Buddha :D , 98 was weaponized explosion which irritated most of the world :flame:
     
  11. Sergi

    Sergi SENIOR MEMBER

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    Nice article :D
     
  12. Mirza Jatt

    Mirza Jatt BANNED

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    I think its high time australia thinks on its policy towards supplying Uranium to India.
     
  13. Rocky25

    Rocky25 FULL MEMBER

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    NPT came to existence after 1974 tests.
     
  14. Syama Ayas

    Syama Ayas ELITE MEMBER

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    They already agreed :)
     
  15. rubyjackass

    rubyjackass SENIOR MEMBER

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    Of course it could make the world safer :)