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nuclear power « Previous | |Next »
October 28, 2007

The Indo-US nuclear deal, which seeks to allow India access to civilian nuclear power technology without having to adhere to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, appears to have faltered. New Delhi's right to conduct another nuclear arms test without the US breaking civilian relations and India's right to reprocess spent fuel and be assured of permanent fuel supplies.

The diplomatic talk uses phrases such as "nearly there," "fusion of ideas" and a promise to "square the circle" to realistic phrases like "U.S. frustrated," "some hard work still needs to be done," "still have some distance to travel" and "both sides must compromise in order to close the gaps."

Martin Rowson

The pact was seen by both nations as a new milestone in the rapidly growing United States-India relationship and also as a pillar of 21st century international security. Besides being a strategic partner, Washington sees India as a rising Asian superpower and the deal was to end India's global nuclear isolation by allowing other nations to sell their nuclear fuel and equipment to New Delhi.

Australia was part of that deal, as it was going to sell uranium to India, thereby assurng New Delhi assured of permanent fuel supplies. Australia 's decision to sell uranium to India is contingent on the US-India deal passing the US Congress and the IAEA agreeing to a set of safeguards for its oversight of India's peaceful nuclear plants.

There is a contradiction between the two goals of U.S. foreign policy — building India up as a counter to China and upholding the non-proliferation regime — but some optimists say the circle can be squared.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:18 PM | | Comments (1)


Today's statement by Australia's Chief Scientist that only clean coal and nuclear power can provide base load power in a green-house gas reduction society raises a number of issues. Does the Chief Scientist give frank and fearless advice to our Government or does he provide comment to back the governments position. Why has Chief Scientist entered the debate at this time?
The Chief Scientist,Dr Jim Peacock is a highly respected plant biologist and researcher and no doubt has taken advice from knowledgable people but he himself has no special skills in the energy field. I imagine he consults specilists in particular fields. We do not know who they may be. We know that there are in Australia a number of highly regarded scientists and specialists who do not agree wih the Chief Scientist nor with the Prime Minister's view about this issue. There are also many similiar people in overseas countries who would question Dr Peacock's view. In fact there are overseas countries basing their policy on the view that there are indeed other options currently available for base load power.
The Government has highly criticised the Labor Party for proposing various review committees to give advice in a number of problematic areas rather than proposing specific action without such inquiry. Which is the better way of developing public policy,the Prime Minister's often expressed notion of "my gut feeling", advice from an unknown secret group, or open inquiry by experts. The notion of making Australia dependant,perhaps
unnecessarily, on nuclear energy is too horrendous to contemplate