17 February 2010 - Uranium industry would welcome opportunity to sell uranium to India

The Australian Uranium Association has welcomed moves within the Australian Labor Party to debate permitting uranium exports to India.

AUA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Angwin, said today the issue of uranium sales to India is a global issue which most other countries concerned have already resolved by agreeing to sell nuclear technology and fuel to India.

“As an industry association, the AUA has no wish to tell Government which nations should receive our uranium. Governments make these judgments on expert advice, and that’s as it should be.  

“But expansion of the uranium industry is good for the country and for uranium companies, their employees and shareholders and for the communities that benefit from the revenue, jobs and economic activity that uranium mines generate. We would welcome the opportunity to export to India if that opportunity became available,” Mr Angwin said.

“If the ALP determines that Australian uranium can be exported to India, then it should be done under conditions similar to those under which we already export uranium,” he said.

“And if we are to supply India as well as our existing customers, we need to make sure bans on uranium mining are lifted in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria,” Mr Angwin said.

In 2008 Australia participated in a meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which decided to end the 30-year ban on nuclear technology cooperation and uranium sales to India. Since then countries such as the United States, France and Canada have engaged in nuclear trade with India, which has greatly expanded its nuclear energy program.  

India plans to add 60,000 Megawatts of nuclear capacity by 2015.Under a recent nuclear cooperation agreement, French company, Areva, has been commissioned to build two nuclear reactors and supply fuel for 25 years, with the deal likely to expand to 6 reactors. Construction is to start in the first half of this year.