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Letter to Australian Prime Minister re Uranium Exports to India

17 November 2011

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People For Nuclear Disarmament (N.S.W)
- 499 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills
- Australia 2010




Dear Prime Minister Julia Gillard:

The organisations signed onto this letter are writing to you to urge you to reconsider your plans to export uranium to India.

Many Indian nuclear disarmament organisations are strongly opposed to India’s being able to import Australian uranium, as this will inevitably contribute to a nuclear arms race in the Indian subcontinent.

India has a limited quantity of unsafeguarded uranium of its own that can be set aside and used for nuclear weapons purposes.

There has been speculation over the last couple of decades that India would be unable, without importing uranium, to be able to sustain both the ambitious civil nuclear power program it has, and to keep up with Pakistan’s aggressive nuclear weapons program, a program that is set to soon exceed, in warhead numbers, that of the UK.

We would like to remind you that back in December 2002 - Jan 2003, Indian and Pakistani military faced each other across the ’line of control’ and that the worlds number one wire story was ’India, Pak, move nukes to line of control’.

At that point the large-scale use of nuclear weapons between India and Pakistan was very much on the agenda.
We note that on the very day on which you made your announcement, India conducted a successful test of its nuclear –- capable Agni-IV (Agni-II Prime) missile.

This is surely not a sign of a subcontinent that is moving in a peaceful direction.

Authoritative, peer-reviewed scientific studies have recently predicted that the a nuclear war between India and Pakistan would create catastrophic changes in global climate and massive destruction of Earth’s protective ozone layer. This would lead to the coldest average weather conditions in the last 1000 years and greatly increase the amount of harmful UV—B light reaching both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Consequently, these long-term environmental consequences would significantly decrease global agricultural production and lead to global nuclear famine.

Selling uranium to India will involve radical alterations to Australia’s long standing (and till recently bipartisan) nuclear nonproliferation policy, according to which Australia will sell uranium only to signatories of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). India is not and cannot be, an NPT signatory due to its significant nuclear weapons program (and therefore cannot sign the additional protocol to the NPT which presumes NPT signatory status).

The undersigned organisations therefore urge you to retain Australia’s long standing and correct policy of not exporting to India.


Sukla Sen, Committee Member, Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP)
- Sukla Sen, EKTA, Mumbai,
- Praful Bidwai, Committee Member, CNDP,
- M.V. Ramana; Committee Member, CNDP,
- Harsh Kapoor, SACW, India,
- Wilfred d’Costa, Indian National Social Action Forum (INSAF) New Delhi,
- S.P. Udayakumar, Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy, National Alliance of Anti Nuclear Movements, Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, South India.

Rob Green, Disarmament and Security Centre, Christchurch NZ,
- Steven Starr, PSR Senior Scientist, Missouri USA,
- Eric Harley, West Midlands Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament,
- Dominique Lalanne, Chair, Abolition2000 Europe, Armes Nucleaires STOP (Fr)
- Alice Slater, Abolition2000 NY, NY, USA,
- Marylia Kelley, Executive Director, Tri Valley CARES, Livermore, Calif, USA,
- Joan Russow, Global Compliance Research Project, Victoria, Canada,

Peter Murphy, SEARCH Foundation, Broadway, Sydney, NSW,
- Bronwyn Marks, Radhika Raju, Frank Vavasour, Natsuni Katori, Natalie Wasley, Matthew Joyce, Hiroshima Day Committee Sydney,
- John Hallam, People for Nuclear Disarmament NSW Nuclear Flashpoints, Surry Hills Sydney NSW, (Letter coordinator)