19 March 2010 - Rudd Government response to review of Russia uranium export Treaty is 'considered and reasonable'

The Australian uranium industry says the Rudd Government’s move towards opening up uranium sales to the Russian Federation is based on a considered and reasonable assessment of security and monitoring arrangements that will regulate the trade.

“We welcome new opportunities to supply our low-carbon fuel to countries which can use it to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to enhance the security of their energy supply,” said Michael Angwin, the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Uranium Association.

“We are pleased that in responding to a report from the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, the Government consulted with the International Atomic Energy Agency and with other countries that have similar agreements with Russia and made sure that Russia itself well understood Australia’s requirements of it.  

“This has ensured that the Government’s policy is soundly-based on evidence and that helps further build confidence,” Mr Angwin said. “The Government’s response means Australia will now have to work harder to remove obstacles that prevent our industry from expanding production to its full potential,” Mr Angwin said.

“With continuing bans on uranium mining in Queensland and other Labor States, based on irrational fears rather than a sound assessment of uranium’s actual properties, uranium companies are limited in how quickly they can move to meet new demand,” he said.  

“The uranium industry is working hard to expand production, and continues to encourage Governments and their regulators to look at uranium based on its merits as a resource that is safely extracted and transported and which makes a very significant contribution to the world’s low-carbon electricity generation effort.

“Assuming the Government now moves to ratify the Russia Treaty, we would welcome an opportunity to discuss with the Federal Government how we meet the additional demand such treaties tend to create,” Mr Angwin said.

Mr Angwin said the Association would be seeking to meet Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith to explore ways in which the industry and the Government can cooperate to ensure our uranium exports make an even greater contribution to world energy security and climate change mitigation.