Australia's Loss is Canada's Gain

Source:

"Canada has signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with India.'"

Canada has signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with India, which will bring Canadian nuclear technology and uranium to the South Asian nation for the first time since the 1974 ban.

Although India has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), The Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), of which Canada is a member, decided in 2008 to lift the over 30-year moratorium on nuclear exports to India.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi this week, has expressed confidence in the South Asian nation's promise to ensure safety and security of their nuclear operations. "We believe Canada and India have a prosperous civilian nuclear future ahead of us. We also have great faith in our Indian friends and partners," said Prime Minister Harper.

Earlier this year, Canada and India inked an MOU that Canada would aid India its quest to construct up to 30 nuclear reactors, which are expected to triple India's uranium demand in the next 15 years.

Other NSG member nations such as Russian, the U.S. and France have also signed nuclear cooperation agreements with India since the ban was lifted. However, the Australian government under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has remained resolute in its refusal to export uranium supplies to India until it signs the NPT.

"India is Australia's sixth largest trading partner and. . .its fastest growing market for Australian exports," says The Times of India.

"There is much potential for the two countries to scale up trade exchanges not just in the services sector but in other areas as well," The Times urges.

But, is a nuclear cooperation agreement between Australia and India possible in the near future?

Business Standard reports that "highly placed Australian sources" have confided that Rudd's position may be an "evolving one." Insiders believe he may try reversing his party's resolution "around the time of the national elections in October 2010."

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