Doctors Condemn Proposed Uranium Sales To Russia

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19th March 2010, 02:52pm - Views: 693

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Friday 19 March 2010

Doctors condemn proposed uranium sales to Russia

The Medical Association for Prevention of War today condemned the government

proposal to sell uranium to Russia, in contravention of recommendations from its own

parliamentary inquiry. 

The government, responding to the 2008 Joint Standing Committee on Treaties

inquiry report, claims that its agreement with Russia would ensure that any uranium

supplied could only be used for peaceful purposes. 

MAPW President DR Bill Williams responded:

“As MAPW told the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, the current safeguards

cannot guarantee that Australian uranium would not end up in Russian nuclear

weapons. The parliamentary inquiry recommended that Australia does not proceed

with uranium sales to Russia until far more stringent measures are in place to separate

Russia’s civilian and military facilities. “

“The decision fails to take seriously both the inadequacy of current safeguards as they

relate to Russia, and Australia’s responsibilities as a uranium exporter.”

“It is important to remember that the five nuclear weapons states which are party to

the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), including Russia, are under much less

scrutiny than states that do not yet have nuclear weapons. For example, the

International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, has confirmed that Russia’s military

sites are off limits for inspection” said Dr Williams.

“MAPW believes that Australia should not sell uranium to any nuclear weapons

states, including Russia. All of the 5 nuclear weapons states that are party to the NPT

are in breach of the treaty by their refusal to get rid of their nuclear weapons. By

selling uranium to Russia, Australia would effectively be undermining the NPT,

which has a crucial 5-yearly review conference in May” Dr Williams concluded.

For comment and further information contact:

Dr Bill Williams

President, Medical Association for Prevention of War

Ph 0428 616 245 

(MAPW office: Nancy Atkin, EO, 03 8344 1637 or 0431 475 465)

See: for the report “Illusion of Protection” on nuclear safeguards;

and our submission to the Inquiry at 

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