August 02, 2012
AUSTRALIA and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are reported to have signed a pact on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, laying the groundwork for shipments of Australian uranium, & Australian nuclear technology.
The UAE's state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday that the agreement provided a framework for co-operation and would enable the "commercial exchange of nuclear materials and equipment".
The agreement stopped short of setting specific terms for imports.
Australia's existing uranium customers include the United Kingdom, United States and China.
The UAE last month became the first country in more than two and a half decades to begin building a maiden nuclear power plant.
The Australian government said in April it hoped to finalise a uranium sales deal with the UAE by mid-2012.
Australian Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson said the disaster in Japan had not altered the Australian government's "position with respect to our uranium mining, export and nuclear power policies".
The UAE has signed a deal with the US not to enrich uranium or reprocess spent nuclear fuel for plutonium, which can be used in nuclear bombs.
Comment is being sought from the Australian government.