India, Australia signed pact on Civil Nuclear Energy deal

Sep 6, 2014 11:11 IST

India and AustraliaIndia and Australia on 5 September 2014 signed a pact on civil nuclear energy deal. This inking of the pact on civil nuclear energy deal has opened decks for the sale of Australian uranium to India. Now, Australian uranium will be purchased by India to support its growing energy needs.

The pact was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott in New Delhi. The Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott was on a State Visit to India from 4-5 September, 2014 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This nuclear deal is being considered as a concrete symbol of the bilateral partnership between India and Australia because the pact details say that Australia would provide supply of uranium, production of radio isotopes, nuclear safety and other areas of cooperation to India.

Australia as a nation has about a third of the world’s recoverable uranium resources and it exports nearly seven thousand tonnes of uranium in a year. This was Australia’s first nuclear deal with a Non-Nuclear, Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory country.

Background
The efforts to sign the civil nuclear deal for sale of uranium to India between the two nations were underway since 2012 after Canberra lifted a long-time ban imposed on India for exporting the valuable ore. It lifted the ban to help India in meeting its ambitious nuclear energy programme.

Earlier such deal was banned because India is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT.

Apart from the civil nuclear deal signed between India and Australia, the two countries also inked three more pacts. Other three pacts were
• MOU on cooperation in Sport
• Renewal of MOU on cooperation in the field of Water Resources Management
• MoU on Cooperation in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

On the other hand, the India and Australia has agreed to conduct a bilateral maritime exercise in 2015. The agreement was reached, as the two sides wants to increase their security cooperation to counter terrorism, cyber threats and other security challenges.

Civil Nuclear Deals with other countries
India has inked civil nuclear deals with several countries for supply of reactors and technology, since September 2008, when it received an unconditional waiver from Nuclear Suppliers Group. The countries include all P-5 members barring China — USA, Russia, France and UK. Apart from the P-5 members, India has also inked deals for supply of uranium as well as reactors, nuclear technology and waste management with other nations like
• Canada
• Kazakhstan
• Argentina
• Namibia
• Mongolia

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