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Canberra not trusted on uranium trade with India

GREENPEACE MEDIA RELEASE

Canberra not trusted on uranium trade with India

Sydney, Thursday May 11, 2006: Australian overtures to pave the way for uranium sales to India, reported in The Australian newspaper today, have raised alarm bells with Australian environmentalists. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19097027-601,00.html

"It would be unconscionable for Australia to even entertain the idea of selling uranium to India - a country which secretly developed and tested nuclear weapons, and refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty," said Greenpeace CEO Steve Shallhorn.

"It beggars belief that Canberra diplomats are effectively telling the Australian and regional communities we should trust them to negotiate such a deal outside the international nuclear safeguards regime," said Shallhorn.

"The evidence of the Australian Wheat Board scandal shows how little we can trust this government on sensitive international trade matters." said Shallhorn. "This is a government steeped in denial, cover-ups and lies over wheat deals. How can we trust them when it comes to uranium deals with known nuclear weapons proliferators."

Greenpeace says if Australia sells uranium to India, the government will be putting short-term commercial gain ahead of global security.

"Pretending that Australian uranium will somehow have a 'kangaroo stamp' on it that will prevent it being used in nuclear weapons is ridiculous. Uranium all goes into the same stockpile, especially if it's sold to a country that does not allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspections," concluded Shallhorn.

Greenpeace is opposed to the use of nuclear power by any nation, and opposes uranium mining on the basis of unacceptable proliferation risks, safety concerns and the intractable problem of nuclear waste management. Nuclear energy is not a solution to climate change - it remains a dirty and dangerous power source.

ENDS

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