Australia a nuclear threat: Sweden

Duly noted: The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute noted the increased Australian involvement in the nuclear cycle, including the report of the Prime Minister’s uranium and nuclear taskforce headed by Dr Ziggy Switkowski which found that 25 nuclear power reactors could supply one-third of Australia’s electric power by 2050. The institute also noted Australian developments in uranium enrichment where the Sydney-based comany Silex was working on a laser enrichment process. This process, officially classified by the United States and Australian governments in June 2001, brought it formally under their security and regulatory protocols.

Nuke-market concerns: The Silex development, funded by General Electric in the United States, is currently in its third and final stage. A test loop is being built at General Electrics’ nuclear facility in Wilmington, North Carolina, to verify peformance and reliability data for full-scale facilities. The institute noted claims that the Silex process had the potential to change the international enrichment market and the statement by Silex head, Dr Michael Goldsworthy, that if Australia was to fully capitalise on the value of its uranium it should develop a nuclear fuel industry which included uranium conversion uranium enrichment and fuel fabrication services. The study expressed concern about countries’ nuclear involvement for a wide variety of reasons.

The Canberra Times, 2/5/2007, p.1

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