Australia has many natural resources. One of them is uranium. Uranium is a core ingredient for nuclear energy, and nuclear bombs. Australia has for sometime restricted sales of uranium to those who have signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Basically we don’t wan’t the uranium we export coming back as a bomb.
In the wake of the Earthquake in Japan there is a likely reduction in the consumption of uranium for nuclear power, and some countries, such as Germany have decided to reduce the production of electricity from nuclear sources. So we will either loose exports or seek new markets.
The Prime Minister has identified India as a prospective customer. Of course there is a problem, in that they are not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Somehow we seem to believe that they will play nicely with our uranium and only use it for the intended purpose – power generation.
Now India is not the only nuclear power who has not signed the treaty. India’s key rival, Pakistan has also not signed the treaty. Pakistan has now said they expect that if Australia sells Uranium to India, they expect to be able to purchase Australian Uranium as well.
That puts Australian Uranium closer to Afghanistan, the Taliban and AlQueda than most of us would feel comfortable with.