Australia to Sign Agreement to Sell Uranium to India
Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday he hoped to sign a deal this week to sell uranium to India for peaceful power generation, but halted uranium exports to Russia over Moscow’s role in Ukraine.
Work on an India-Australia agreement has been underway since Australia, which has 40 percent of the world’s known uranium reserves, lifted a long-standing ban on selling uranium to energy-starved India in 2012.
Nuclear-armed India and Australia have been working on a safeguards agreement since then to ensure any uranium exports from Australia are used purely for peaceful purposes.
“I am hoping to sign a nuclear cooperation agreement that will enable uranium sales by Australia to India,” Abbott, who will visit this week, told parliament in Canberra.
India faces chronic shortages of electricity, and a quarter of its billion-plus population has no little or no access to power. Two thirds of India’s power supplies come from burning coal, and it is keen to shift the balance towards nuclear over the next few years.