Opinion: why not sell India uranium?

It makes sense financially, ethically and environmentally for Australia to sell uranium to India, argues Indian strategic affairs expert, Rory Medcalf.

It makes sense financially, ethically and environmentally for Australia to sell uranium to India, argues Indian strategic affairs expert, Rory Medcalf from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

The recent visit by India's External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna has rekindled a difficult debate in Australia's relations with the rising giant of south Asia, Professor Medcalf writes in the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Krishna cautiously revived Delhi's call for Canberra to lift its weary ban on uranium exports, pointing out that nuclear energy could be a climate-friendly way of helping to meet the massive electricity needs of a nation seeking to lift hundreds of millions to a decent quality of life.

"His comments confirm that the Labor policy forbidding uranium sales to India is a thorn in what will be one of Australia's crucial 21st century bilateral relationships," Professor Medcalf writes.

"Diplomacy, strategy, economics, climate change and notions of international fairness - all these imperatives support a rethink.

"It is time the Gillard government mustered the political courage to agree to sell uranium to India for civilian use. Any exports would be subject to the same protocols and safeguards we apply to others such as China and Russia. If India then did not accept reasonable conditions, the deal would be off and it would no longer be Australia's problem."

Read Professor Medcalf's full opinion piece here.