Skip to main content

India-Australia N-deal under cloud: Ex-Aussie chief nuclear watchdog "warns" agreement lacks safeguards

By Our Representative
The International Business Times (IBT), Australia, has reported that Australia's uranium deal with India has come under severe scrutiny following warning of a former Aussie chief atomic watchdog that the treaty “did not have all the safeguards necessary to prevent India from fuelling its nuclear bombs." The top business paper said, while the treaties committee of the Australian Parliament was "urged" to endorse the deal signed by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September, enabling exports of uranium to begin, things seem to be changing now.
Reporting the development, the paper said, John Carlson, former head of Australia's nuclear safeguards organisation, told the Parliament committee recently that "the nuclear weapons programme of India is expanding with complex links to non-government reactors". Basing on what Carlson told the Parliament committee, the paper quotes unidentified analysts to say that there is "fear" that the warning may become a reason for the Australian Labour Party to "scale back its support” to the nuclear deal.
The paper said, the Labour was partially opposed to the sale of uranium to India in the beginning, and “put an end to a proposal during the Howard government." However, "Labour had a change of heart in 2011 when it was urged by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the promise of strict guidelines", it added.
The paper reported, "Carlson warned that the treaty signed by Abbott had lower measures of protection that the other uranium deals the government has approved with Russia or China. In his submission to the parliament committee, Carlson said the proposed deal with India would not allow for a definite monitoring of uranium used in India's nuclear programme.”
Carlson also said that Australia “will have no right to demand a return of uranium from India if the agreement is violated as it is possible with other 41 countries in the same export deal." Reporting on simialr lines, another paper, The Age, Australia, said, in his detailed submission, Carlson said that under the proposed deal Australia “could not definitively track uranium used in India's nuclear programme and what happened subsequently to fuel reprocessed into plutonium”
“Nor would Australia have the right to demand the return of uranium should the agreement be breached, as it can with 41 other countries covered by similar export deals", The Age quoted Carslon as telling the Parliament committee. It added, things are particularly tricky as “India is estimated to have between 90 and 110 nuclear weapons and has refused to sign international disarmament treaties".
The paper said, "Several Indian nuclear reactors are designated 'dual use' for civilian energy and military needs... The deal would not be the first on uranium to run afoul of the treaties committee, with the Russia deal held up almost two years over concerns that yellowcake could be diverted into nuclear weapons."
The Age quoted Labour MP Kelvin Thomson as saying that the Parliament committee had received detailed submissions expressing concern “not so much at the idea of supplying uranium to India but about the provisions of the agreement”, and "clearly the committee will need to consider those submissions carefully".
Melissa Parke, another Labour MP on the committee has been quoted also as saying that "India's nuclear record was far from impeccable, it having reneged on an agreement with Canada in the 1970s and tested an atomic weapon." The Age also reported "several other submissions, including one from Ron Walker, a former governor of the International Atomic Energy Agency, expressed concern". It suggested, things would become even clearer when the committee holds public hearings before reporting in February or March.
Pointing towards the importance of Carlson, The Age said, he was “in charge of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office for more than 20 years until 2010 and was criticised during that time by anti-nuclear campaigners for facilitating uranium exports.” It added, “In Carlson's view there were "good reasons for concluding a nuclear co-operation agreement with India, but not this agreement".

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”