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Sale of Canadian Uranium to India Denounced by International Experts at the World Uranium Symposium

Symposium mondial sur l’uranium - World Uranium Symposium
Science | Santé | Environnement | Énergie | Économie | Droits humains | Société
Centre des congrès de Québec | 14-16 avril 2015 | www.uranium2015.com

Quebec, 15 April 1015 – About 200 international experts and delegates of the World Uranium Symposium this morning denounced the sale of Canadian uranium to India, a country that maintains an arsenal of nuclear weapons and has never signed the United Nations’ Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). By signing such a deal on the eve of the NPT review conference to be held in New York City in two weeks’ time, Canada is undermining and discrediting the key international treaty prohibiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

“Canada’s attitude sends a terrible message to the international community regarding the necessity for all countries to respect and to reinforce the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” said Arielle Denis, Director of the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“India’s nuclear weapons program is very active, as demonstrated by a series of nuclear test explosions. Moreover tensions between India and Pakistan, a country with its own nuclear arsenal, are running very high. The attitude of Canada is irresponsible and alarming,” according to Shri Prakash, one of several participants from India at the World Uranium Symposium.

“Despite rules specifying no military use of Canadian materials, some uranium from Canada could well end up in Indian bombs,” said Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. “At the very least, Canadian uranium will free up more Indian uranium for weapons production purposes.”

“We should be reinforcing the NPT and not undermining it. Canada is going against the Austrian Agreement launched last December to fill the gap present in international law by making it not only illegal to use nuclear weapons, but also to possess them. Nuclear warheads are the only Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) not forbidden under existing international conventions,” explained Arielle Denis of ICAN.

India has already broken its promise to Canada in the past by using a Canadian reactor given as a gift in 1956 to produce the plutonium for its first atomic bomb, detonated in 1974. Canada broke off all nuclear cooperation with India, a policy that was maintained until the Harper government decided to resume nuclear cooperation between Canada and India despite its nuclear arsenal.

Australian delegates to the World Uranium Symposium also expressed grave misgivings about the negotiations towards a similar agreement between India and Australia, whereby Australian uranium would be sold to India.

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For more information :

  • Arielle Denis, International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), 336 8714 8933, arielle@icanw.org
  • Mycle Shneider, International energy & nuclear policy consultant, 33 620 63 47 37, mycle@orange.fr
  • Dr. Gordon Edwards, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, 514-839-7214
  • Dave Sweeney, Australian Conservation Foundation, 61 408 317 812, d.sweeney@acfonline.org.au
  • Shri Prakash, Indian Filmmaker participating at the Symposium and International Film Festival, prakash.shri@gmail.com
  • Héloïse Fernandez, Communications Director of Nature Québec, official secretariat of the World Uranium Symposim cell.418-931-1131, 418 648-2104, poste 2074, communications@naturequebec.org

The World Uranium Symposium is jointly organized by Physicians for Global Survival (1985 Nobel Peace Prize), the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, Nature Quebec, and Quebec Coalition for Better Mining. The Symposium also has support from the Institute for Sustainable Development of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Swiss Chapter), Helen Caldicott Foundation, MiningWatch Canada, the Cree Nation of Mistissini, and a number of other local, national and international partners.