Safeguards on uranium sales to Emirates entirely unsafe
Media release: Australian Greens nuclear policy spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam. 1 August 2012
Greens nuclear policy spokesperson Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said the Federal Government should declare whether there are any countries to which it will not sell uranium after it sealed a deal with the United Arab Emirates today.
"Apart from North Korea, is there any country this government has ruled out as a uranium customer? India refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but Labor wants to sell uranium to India. Iran seems an obvious one, but the government cut a uranium deal with Russia – and Russia, among other things, is assisting Iran’s nuclear program.”
Senator Ludlam was speaking from Japan after visiting Fukushima, the site of an ongoing nuclear crisis which involved Australian uranium.
“Whatever assurances the UAE government gives, can we trust a regime that denies its people basic political and human rights? Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan has indicated the UAE has no plans for uranium enrichment ‘for now’. What guarantees do we have into the future? The government of the United Arab Emirates is a dictatorship and not accountable to its people in any way.
“This continues the pattern of successive Australian Governments in allowing the agenda of the uranium industry to override our national security and non-proliferation interests. The uranium mining industry has long been extremely liberal in its choice of customers; the Australian Government on the other hand is supposed to represent a broader constituency.
"Without nuclear power stations – there can be no nuclear weapons, no possibility of fuels being stolen to build ‘dirty bombs’, no possibility of a nuclear power station being hit by a conventional bomb and setting off a nuclear explosion. The events of recent months have made it abundantly clear the Middle East is volatile. Do we really want the entire region pursuing nuclear power?”
Media contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302