Keywords: nuclear non-proliferation, uranium exports, arms control, US alliance, UDA, United States, energy security, Australia, nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear fuel cycle
Australia's engagement in the nuclear fuel cycle: the non-proliferation dimension
Australia's position on nuclear energy issues cannot be fully appreciated without understanding its commitment to non-proliferation. For 30 years, Australia's uranium exports have been contingent on states accepting some of the most stringent safeguards in the world. Successive Australian governments have argued that Australia's involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle as a supplier of uranium helps bolster the coherence of the non-proliferation regime by encouraging other states to follow strict preconditions for export. Yet, since 9/11, Australia's formal alliance with the USA has placed limits on the degree to which it has been willing to pursue non-proliferation policies at odds with Washington's approach.