IMMEDIATE USE 16 NOV 2015

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT NSW

AUSTRALIA/INDIA U-DEAL SELLS URANIUM DIRECTLY INTO SUBCONTINENTAL NUCLEAR ARMS RACE

The India-Australia uranium deal, whereby Australia agrees to sell uranium to India in spite of India’s not being a signatory of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, and in spite of the fact that a vigorous nuclear arms race is in progress on the subcontinent, beggars belief for anyone who has been involved for decades as I have, in questions of nuclear nonproliferation, disarmament, and nuclear safety.

A vigorous nuclear arms race is taking place right now on the Indian subcontinent between India and Pakistan, with Pakistan now having some 130 nuclear warheads, and India not far behind with between 110 and 120.

Pakistan has deployed short-range, war-fighting ‘mini nukes’ to repel Indian tank attacks. India has said that their use will lead to full-scale nuclear war.

India and Pakistan are poised on a nuclear knife-edge.

While we can say all we like that Australian uranium will only ever be used to ‘civil’ uses, the fact is that because India has limited uranium supplies of its own (mined under appalling conditions at Jharsguda in Bihar with catastrophic effects on the health of local people) – the fact is that use of Australian uranium will ‘free up’ un-safeguarded Indian uranium for weapons use. It can be no other way, there is simply no avoiding the brute facts of arithmetic. Uranium that has been replaced by imported (Australian) uranium for nuclear power use is now available for use in nuclear weapons.

Australia has chosen to sell its uranium into the worlds most dangerous nuclear flashpoint. It has done so against the recommendations of a parliamentary joint committee.

This is a mindbogglingly foolish decision.

John Hallam Nuclear Weapons Campaigner PND-NSW
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