Connect with us

News

IAEA chief: Aukus could set precedent for pursuit of nuclear submarines

nuclear

IAEA chief: Aukus could set precedent for pursuit of nuclear submarines

The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog has said other states could follow Australia’s example and seek to build nuclear-powered submarines, raising serious proliferation and legal concerns.

Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said during a visit to Washington that he had sent a special team to look into the safety and legal implications of the Aukus partnership announced last month, in which the US and UK will help Australia build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

If the plan is carried through, it would be the first time a non-nuclear weapons state has acquired nuclear-powered submarines. It reflects a grey area in the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which allows fissile material to be removed from IAEA safeguards for such purposes.

The procedures by which the agency would ensure that the fuel, removed from agency oversight, is not diverted to making nuclear weapons have yet to be worked out.

“We have to have specific agreements to make sure that whatever they receive technology-wise or material-wise, is under safeguards,” Grossi told reporters on Tuesday.

“There has to be a specific arrangement with the IAEA,” he said. “Now we have to dot the Is and cross the Ts, which has never been done before, and it’s a very, very demanding process.”

Grossi said it “cannot be excluded” that other countries would use the Aukus precedent to pursue their own nuclear submarine plans.

Canada and South Korea have both contemplated building nuclear-powered submarines, which can stay underwater longer and are quieter than their conventional counterparts. Brazil too has an ongoing nuclear submarine project.

Grossi noted that Iran informed the IAEA in 2018 of its intention to start a naval nuclear propulsion program. In a letter to the agency, the Iranian government said that for the first five years of the project, no nuclear facility would be involved.

In meetings in New York during the UN general assembly last month, Iranian officials pointed to the Aukus deal as a precedent to move the country’s own nuclear submarine plans forward.

Grossi said a limiting factor for other nations seeking to emulate Australia was the technical challenges in building a nuclear-propelled submarine.

“To have a nuclear reactor in a submarine in a vessel operating safely is a very difficult thing to do,” he said.

The IAEA director general said that the onus on US and the UK in the Aukus deal was to ensure that the nuclear material and technology was transferred to Australia in a safe way that did not raise risks of nuclear weapon proliferation. He said the issue had been raised in his talks with US secretary of state Antony Blinken in Washington this week.

“I think he’s fully aware of the implications, and we are going to have an engagement, formal engagement, soon in a tripartite way or otherwise,” Grossi said. “I already set up a taskforce within the inspectorate, composed of very experienced safeguards inspectors and legal experts to look into this.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

sixteen − thirteen =

News

NSCDC To Deploy 30,000 Officers For 2023 Elections

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has disclosed that it will deploy 30,000 operatives to ensure peace during the upcoming general elections in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Commandant- General of the NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Audi at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Sunday,

He said the operatives would be deployed nationwide to maintain peace.

He said the NSCDC has perfected plans to deploy all resources needed to provide security during the election.

“The corps is poised fairly, and ready to apply all the arsenals needed to provide security and safety for the elections.

“We have an operations department of over 30,000 personnel but then we will also deploy others when the time comes.

“Normally we have the bulk of our people in operations and those who are in operations partake in election processes,” he said.

Audi said that the corps had also perfected plans to begin seminars and workshops in October to discuss the preparedness of the organization towards the general elections.

“We want to tell our people that if you go and involve yourself by becoming partisan you are on your own.

“There are certain things we have introduced in our Standard Operating Procedure — that once you go partisan and you are caught, you will face sanctions and you are on your own.

“So we are ready to partake in the election like I said because we are apolitical and we are going to provide a level-playing field for all citizens to be involved in the elections and exercise their franchise.”

Audi said that the NSCDC partook in election activities because it’s a member of the Inter-agency, Consultative Committee on Election Security.

Continue Reading

News

NSIA Not Stakeholder In Nigeria Air- F.G

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has declared that the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is not an investor in the Nigeria Air project.

Sirika made the clarification in a statement issued by James Odaudu, his special assistant on public affairs, on Saturday.

The minister had listed NSIA as part of the local investors with stakes in the national carrier.

He said the NSIA is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, adding that the error was made during his media briefing.

“We wish to clarify that the Authority (NSIA) is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, being a government establishment,” Sirika said.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the equity ownership structure of Nigeria Air stands as Ethiopian Airlines 49%, Nigerian private investors (SAHCO, MRS and other institutional investors) 46% and the Federal Government 5%.

“The public, especially the business community and the media, should please note”, the statement added.

Continue Reading

News

Nigerians Not Ripe Enough To Bear Arms- NSCDC

Nigerians are not ripe to be allowed to bear arms.

This is according to the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ahmed Audi who made the observation when he attended the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja.

“I strongly disapproved of it. Even now that there is no law in existence, you still have proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the hands of people.

“It has to do with civilisation and education.

“Even in Europe and America where they have that law where virtually everybody once you can drive can have arms, they are trying to control it now because of how some events unfold.

“In the world, especially in Europe and America, somebody will just wake up and just go to a school and open fire on kids. You know that is madness.

“And so for me, I don’t think we are there yet to allow citizens carry arms” , he said.

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending