Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says his country is ready to export uranium to India, nearly three years after the two countries signed a nuclear cooperation deal for peaceful power generation.
The Australian premier made the announcement during a joint news conference with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Turnbull said cooperation between the two sides in the energy sector had been on the rise and that Australia would like to assist India in the generation of peaceful nuclear power.
“We are working closely with India to meet our respective requirements for the provision of fuel for India’s civil nuclear program,” he said, adding that Australia was looking forward to supplying uranium to India as soon as possible.
Turnbull also expressed Australia’s strong support for the Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
The NSG consists of nuclear supplier countries seeking to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Australia has about 40 percent of the world’s uranium reserves and exports nearly 7,000 tonnes of yellow cake every year.
Canberra and New Delhi began talks on the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and selling uranium to India in 2012, finally signing the deal in September 2014.
Energy-starved India wants to increase nuclear power generation to support its strong economic growth. Over the past years, the country has signed similar nuclear agreements with France, Russia, Britain and the United States.
During the Monday visit, India and Australia also ratified agreements on cooperating to fight terrorism and transnational organized crimes, as well as working together in areas such as environment, climate, wildlife and civil aviation security. —Agencies