World Uranium Symposium

April 15, 2015 15:50 ET

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

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - April 15, 2015) - 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.

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.

Contact Information

  • International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons
    (ICAN)
    Arielle Denis
    336 8714 8933
    arielle@icanw.org

    Mycle Shneider
    International energy & nuclear policy consultant
    33 620 63 47 37
    mycle@orange.fr

    Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
    Dr. Gordon Edwards
    514-839-7214

    Australian Conservation Foundation
    Dave Sweeney
    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

    Heloise Fernandez
    Communications Director of Nature Quebec
    official secretariat of the World Uranium Symposium
    (cell) 418-931-1131
    418 648-2104 ext. 2074
    communications@naturequebec.org