Australia re-commits to exporting uranium

Australia is not having second thoughts about mining and exporting uranium in light of the nuclear crisis in Japan, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Sunday.

Updated: Mar 20, 2011, 12:35 PM IST

Sydney: Australia is not having second thoughts about mining and exporting uranium in light of the nuclear crisis in Japan, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Sunday.

"What`s happening in Japan doesn`t have any impact on my thinking about uranium exports," she said. "We do export uranium and we`ll continue to export uranium. Countries around the world will make their own choices about how they source their energy."

Australia has no nuclear power stations of its own, and Gillard`s Labour Party is against nuclear power and the return of spent uranium fuel rods for disposal in Australia.

While the previous conservative government had moved towards lifting a ban on uranium sales to India, Gillard insists India will not get Australian uranium until it signs international covenants to deter the proliferation of nuclear technology.

With 40 percent of the world`s easily recoverable reserves of uranium, the feedstock for nuclear reactors, Australia has only three mines in operation and a 20 percent share of world exports.

IANS