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Press Release 4 Dec 2011 - Australian uranium will Fuel South Asian Arms Race

19 October 2012

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PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
NUCLEAR FLASHPOINTS PROJECT
Contact: 0416-500-793 9810-2598

ALP URANIUM TO INDIA DECISION

AUSTRALIAN URANIUM WILL FUEL SOUTH ASIAN NUCLEAR ARMS RACE

With the Australian labor party poised to take a decision this morning on
whether to export uranium to India, People for Nuclear Disarmament,
Australias oldest nuclear disarmament lobby group, has warned that whatever safeguards are applied, the export of Australian uranium to India will free up unsafeguarded Indian uranium to be used for weapons purposes.

According to PND nuclear weapons campaigner John Hallam:
“Indian reactors have over the years been forced to run slow because of supply constraints bought about because India is not an NPT signatory and has a significant nuclear weapons program. Australian uranium imports will allow India to allocate its unsafeguarded domestic uranium resources to its weapons program, allowing them to compete with the aggressive Pakistani nuclear weapons program.

India and Pakistan are the two most aggressive makers of nuclear warheads in the world right now, aimed at each other. Both continue to test nuclear missiles, with India testing the Agni-IV on the very day of Julia Gillards announcement.

India and Pakistan have several times been on the brink of nuclear war, most recently in 2003. Should India and Pakistan go over the brink, the use of over 200 nuclear warheads in the subcontinent would bring about the deaths of up to 150 million people in a day or so, while the soot from burning cities would bring about, according to the most recent, peer – reviewed research, catastrophic global climatic effects that would cool the earth for over a decade and destroy the ozone layer. Australia could not be unaffected.”

Australian and Indian peace groups have written to Prime Minister Gillard, Kevin Rudd, and the entire Labor Party caucus in anticipation of todays decision. (Letter attached).

Contact:
John Hallam m0416-500-793 h9810-2598(leave message)

Contact - John Hallam 61-2-9810-2598

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT NSW NUCLEAR FLASHPOINTS PROJECT
HIROSHIMA DAY COMMITTEE
INDIAN SOCIAL ACTION FORUM
PEOPLES MOVEMENT AGAINST NUCLEAR ENERGY (SOUTH INDIA)

PRIME MINISTER JULIA GILLARD
RESOURCES MINISTER MARTIN FERGUSON
FOREIGN MINISTER KEVIN RUDD
SENATOR DOUG CAMERON
TONY ABBOTT
SENATOR BOB BROWN

URANIUM EXPORTS TO INDIA

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 December2002-Jan2003, 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.

Signed

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.
Aaron Tovish, Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign,
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)
Jean-Marie Matagne, President, Action des Citoyens pour le Desarmement Nuclaire, (ACDN) Saintes, France,
Alice Slater, Abolition2000 NY, NY, USA,
Marylia Kelley, Executive Director, Tri Valley CARES, Livermore, Calif, USA,
Joan Russow, Global Compliance Research Project, Victoria, Canada,
Judith Deutsch, President, Science for Peace, Toronto, Ont, 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)