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back to article No uranium for Russia, say Oz MPs

An Australian parliamentary committee has said that an AU$800m deal to supply Russia with uranium should be put on hold until the latter was able to "assuaged doubts" regarding how it intended to use the material. Former Oz PM John Howard and Vladimir Putin inked the accord last year, and Russia has insisted "it would only use …

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Anonymous Coward

Yet it supplies uranium to the US

I seem to remember reading on el reg that the US effectively abandoned the nuke treaty when it decided to make mini-nukes.

These mini-nukes can actually have from under a megaton to a kiloton.

i.e.: several Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombs combined.

So why are they still shipping there?

I for one don't see an issue with what Russia is doing.

After all, they have a precedent with Kosovo.

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IT Angle

Not IT

Shouldn't be here

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Pirate

Need Oz uranium

for home use because they've flogged their own stuff to terrorists around the world (possibly) ?

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Boffin

Russia has been violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

By selling nuclear fuel to Iran in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty & UN resolutions. As for the US, the US has in fact been in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and all other nuclear treaties. Small nuclear weapons (mini-nukes) have been in the USSR (Russian) & US stockpiles for decades.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/russia/suitcase/comments.html

The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty is not a nuclear treaty, and the ABM treaty simply forbade the US or Russia from defending themselves against the other guys Intercontinental Ballistic MNissiles (ICBM's). ABM's are, by definition, defensive weapons.

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@Anonymous Coward - Non-proliferation treaty

Building mini-nukes does not violate the NNPT.

The US is still within the treaty - just. So far the US and the other declared nuclear powers have not abided by the Second Pillar of the NNPT to work towards final multilateral disarmament.

The US is arguably in violation of Articles I and II of the NNPT by continuing to deploy nuclear weapons in non-nuclear NATO countries and modifying these countries weapons systems to use nuclear weapons. There is also a question over the US's sharing of weapons designs and materials such as tritium with the UK and French weapons programmes. The UK may have violated it in the past by supplying the UK with plutonium diverted from our civilian reprocessing plant.

All of the original three signatories - the US, USSR (whose responsibilities were assumed by Russia) and UK have probably been in violation of public statements not to target non-nuclear states with nuclear weapons. The US certainly targeted North Korea, Russia has recently threatened to target Poland and the UK has said it will nuke anyone who uses WMD on British citizens. This is not a violation of the NNPT per-se as the statements were made outside of the treaty.

On another front the Bush administration has recently signed a civilian nuclear technology transfer with India which is not a signatory to the NNPT. It was agreed that India had not proliferated weapons knowledge and was in desperate need of nuclear energy so an exemption was made in the NNPT by the IAEA to allow the treaty to go through. IIRC it has still not been ratified by Congress, so it's possible the situation might change.

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@ Not IT

Thus spake the Anonymous Coward.

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So

the Australians are saying as long as you sign two bits of paper they'll sell you Uranium. I feel so much safer.

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Silver badge
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Selling Uranium to Iran is against NPT?

Pure neocon faggotry. Nothing in the NPT forbids one NPT signatory to sell Uranium to another NPT signatory. Deal with it.

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Boffin

@AC - "Russia has been violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty"

Russia may be in violation of the NPT, but not on its own and not in the manner you describe.

Russia, the US, the UK, France and China are all in breach of their obligation to disarm. India and Pakistan are both in breach by developing their own nuclear arsenals. The US is in further breach by striking a deal with India to supply further material.

Russia is not in breach of the NPT for supplying Iran with nuclear material as Iran has not been proven to have a military nuclear program, no matter what certain right-wing warmongers in Washington might say. Remember, these are the same warmongers that insisted Iraq was IN POSSESION of nuclear warheads. Have these been found yet?

As for breaching UN resolutions on the issue, Russia has a veto on any resolution by virtue of its status as a permanent security council member. Why would it pass a resolution that it had no intention of abiding by?

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Bronze badge

Would this embargo have any bite?

Other than for a mild and temporary commercial disadvantage, it's hard to see how this would hurt Russia.

Although Russia's stocks of uranium are limited, like the USA, and the UK come to that, she has more than enough plutonium to destroy the world several times over. Russia also has significant reserves of thorium, which could supply her energy needs for a good many years. In addition, Gen-IV reactors, projected to be running within a decade or so, will be able to utilise a far greater proportion of uranium fuel than present-day reactors.

The USA put an embargo on sales of gas turbines to Russia some years ago, assuming that this would hinder the development of Siberian oilfields. The result was that Russia rapidly discovered how to make them and joined world leaders in turbine technology.

Similarly, an Australian embargo on uranium might actually do Russia a favour if it were to encourage her to put more emphasis on the new and more effective thorium powered nuclear technologies and thus take a lead in a large emerging world market.

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Got to Stay Cool if you want to run on Heavy Heavy fuel

"Australia boasts 40 per cent of all the world's uranium reserves. "

Now there's the sort of wise after the fact you don't hear on Geography, Class.

PS. Love the New Look el Reg, some fine Bling you Swinging?

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Seems to me...

...you're all missing the point.

Russia still controls areas East of the Urals - with massive Uranium deposits. So, why are they even thinking of buying it from Australia?

Come to THAT, they have all those Oil/Gas reserves. So, again, why are they buying up oil/gas from FSU states in Central Asia and exporting the same oil/gas to Europe?

To my way of thinking the Russians may have the reserves, but exploiting them may well be beyond them these days. Especially as they keep screwing over foreign 'partners'.

That or the want to hang onto them for themselves while making a profit acting as middle-men selling on third party's reserves - thus forcing up global energy prices...

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Black Helicopters

Hmm

So China signed a piece of paper saying they won't be naughty with their uranium. Damn that's bound to prevent them doing anything dodgy. Anyone remember the scene with Hans Blix and Kim Jong Il in Team America?

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SELL

Excellent my Aussie uranium stocks/shares just went up !

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