TIMELY COMPLETION OF AUSTRALIA INDIA NUCLEAR COOPERATION AGREEMENTThe Minerals Council of Australia's Uranium Forum welcomes the finalisation of the Australia India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and the conclusion of the Administrative Arrangements for the earlier signed agreement with the UAE.
These agreements have been several years in the making and it is important to acknowledge the contribution of the opposition in their development. The government provided a considered response to the recommendations by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties report on the proposed nuclear agreement with India.
The government's response highlighted the rigorous process undertaken to ensure the exclusively peaceful use of Australian uranium.
The subsequent bringing into force of the Agreement between Australia and India, as well as the conclusion of the Administrative Arrangements for that agreement now makes these Treaties operational. The uranium industry now looks forward to building relationships with customers and stakeholders in India and the UAE and growing with their civil nuclear power industries.
The announcement is timely as it comes days after the release of the International Energy Agency's latest World Energy Outlook 2015 detailing the IEA's projections on nuclear energy growth in India.
According to the IEA's base case, nuclear power generation in India is expected to grow by almost 700% from 2013 to 2040. It sees the share of electricity production generated by nuclear power in India growing by on average almost 8 per cent per annum.
The IEA's report says 'India has a strong commitment to develop additional nuclear power as a way to meet its rising energy needs and enhance its energy security on a low-carbon basis.....It also has a longer term target for nuclear power to supply 25 per cent of the nation’s electricity by 2050.'
Similarly, the UAE's nuclear program is targeting delivering electricity to the grid in 2017, and producing nearly a quarter of the country's electricity by 2020. All four units are now under construction with the first more than 75 per cent complete.
A recent study by Prof Sinclair Davidson and Dr Ashton de Silva, 'Realising Australia's uranium potential', modelled what various nuclear power growth and market share scenarios could mean for Australian exports and jobs. Their report showed that the industry could expand from its current state of around 3000 direct and indirect jobs and $600 million per annum value, to over $9 billion per annum value with over 20,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2040.
Such expansion requires responsible access to the most important growth markets. These two countries will clearly be significant uranium markets with sound bilateral agreements and arrangements.
The uranium industry congratulates the government, the opposition and the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO) in developing these agreements with their vitally important safeguards.