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Indian nuclear security ranked among worst in the world - will Labor persist with uranium sales?

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 12 Jan 2012

Labor and the Coalition are partners in crime with their support for uranium sales to India - one of the world's least safe nuclear states, the Australian Greens said today.

Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said nuclear security in India was ranked 28th out of 32 countries with significant amounts of weapons-grade uranium or plutonium.

"In December Labor ignored our warnings and adopted the Coalition's policy of selling uranium to India despite that country refusing to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Now it has been revealed that India is one of the very worst countries in terms of nuclear security - ranking fractionally above the likes of Pakistan, Iran and North Korea."

The Nuclear Threat Initiative, a respected think tank, and the Economic Intelligence Unit have produced a new ranking system to assess the security of the world's stocks of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium. The NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index is a measure of how vulnerable those stocks are to theft by terrorists or criminal organisations.

Senator Ludlam said India's nuclear record was bleak and bound to deteriorate further as Delhi moves to axe its current nuclear regulator.

"The new Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA) will have fewer powers and less independence than the existing Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. Legislation before the Indian parliament authorises the Indian Government to give formal directions and orders to the NSRA, which the Authority has to obey. This law sets up a puppet body: The Authority will be answerable to a handful of government ministers who can issue orders to the body, and sack its members."

"The ALP previously refused to sell uranium to India because that country will not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. They've abandoned that position, and have committed to selling nuclear fuel to a nuclear-armed country that is one of the worst countries in the world for nuclear security, refuses to sign the NPT and will soon have no independent nuclear watchdog. Labor's sick commitment to this plan demonstrates once again that they are in the pocket of the energy and resources sector."

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302



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