Australia and India heading for nuclear cooperation - and other nuclear news

Prime Ministers Tony Abbott and Narendra Modi

The governments of Australia and India are moving towards an agreement on cooperation in the “Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy”. The Australian government is calling for “interested persons and organisations” to make submissions by Friday, 28 November 2014. The text of the proposed agreement is published at


Links for the treaty text, the national interest analysis and requirements for submission preparation are provided at - PDF format.


I’m not an expert on the nitty gritty of such official-speak, but below are the points that caught my particular attention:

The agreement, to run initially for 40 years, establishes Australia as “a long term reliable supplier of uranium to India”. It notes “the significance of civilian nuclear energy for meeting growing global energy demands”.

Only civilian nuclear facilities under safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency are to be covered. It’s to ensure that the use of radiation and atomic energy in all its applications “is safe for the health of radiation workers, members of the public and the environment”.

Pie-in-the-sky optimism, given the horrific disasters nuclear power production has caused around the globe. Why should India be any different, especially given its appallingly slack industrial and worker safety safety provisions.


The uranium from Australia, one of the worlds's major exporters, is to be used by nuclear power India only for “research, power generation, medicine, agriculture and industry” and exclude “development of any nuclear explosive device”.

The agreement also refers to the “management of radioactive waste” without going into any detail on that, as well as the “exchange and training of personnel” and “technology transfer”.

“Parties will facilitate visits of experts to their territory for implementation of the provisions of the agreement on a reciprocal basis.

“The parties shall ensure that any by-products are used only for peaceful and non-explosive purposes.” Items subject to the agreement shall not be transferred outside either country without the permission of the supplier party, nor to a third party without its assurance of peaceful use monitored by the IAEA.


Other Australian nuclear news:

Olympic Dam expansion still in works

The BHP Billiton corporation says it is still working on all options for a large expansion of the Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine. Olympic Dam is the world's largest uranium resource.



Fixing old Rum Jungle uranium mine to cost $200m

The Department of Mines and Energy is seeking $200 million from the federal government to rehabilitate the former Rum Jungle mine site.



Nuclear happenings elsewhere:

Cree leaders in Quebec use social media for campaign against uranium

Drumming up support against development in their territory

The Cree government has launched a website and social media campaign, #StandAgainstUranium. ... A few weeks ago the Cree Nation government also released a trailer for a nine-minute film it sponsored, looking at the Cree's response to a proposed uranium project. The film, The Wolverine: The Fight of the James Bay Cree, was featured at the Uranium Film Festival in Germany last month.



Environmentalists sue over nuclear reactor's impact on Columbia River

Three environmental groups are suing a Washington state agency over the effects of the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant on the water quality of the Columbia River.

-reactoru2019s-i/ &


France probes drone activity over nuclear plants

France has launched an investigation into unidentified drones that have been spotted over nuclear plants operated by state-owned utility EDF, said the interior minister.