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Government disregards security risks of uranium sales to conflict zone

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 14 Jun 2017

The Australian Greens have condemned the Government’s plan to disregard warnings from the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties and proceed with uranium sales to Ukraine.
 
“It goes against all reason for Australia to sell uranium to a country currently embroiled in an armed conflict, where nuclear material already in the country is unable to be secured or safeguarded. The Government report severely downplayed the risks and failed to present a concrete plan to secure Australian nuclear material,” Australian Greens Co-Deputy Leader and nuclear issues spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.
 
“Both Russian and Ukrainian officials have admitted that there are no mechanisms to safeguard Australia Obligated Nuclear Material, repatriate that material or protect against threats to nuclear installations. 
 
“JSCOT has found that there are not sufficient repatriation provisions, that “war, civil unrest and corruption are not mitigated by safeguards inspections and security agreements” and has cautioned that “Australian nuclear material should never be placed in a situation where there is a risk that regulatory control of material will be lost.”” 
 
“Right now there are a number of nuclear facilities in the Ukraine that are under Russian control, where safeguards inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency have not been made possible.”
 
“To proceed with this deal is a reckless breach of Australia’s safeguards and security regime, it weakens our already weak efforts on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and it makes a mockery of our supposed commitment to nuclear safety,” Senator Ludlam concluded.

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