Mr. Tom Ellis
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if, in his recent successful negotiations with the Australian Government for the supply of uranium ore to the United Kingdom, he ensured that the Australian Government were aware of the relevant conditions imposed by the Euratom Treaty;
(2) whether the agreement recently concluded between him and the Australian Government for the supply of uranium ore to the United Kingdom is compatible with the terms of the Euratom Treaty;
(3) whether he has notified the European Commission of the terms of the 11W agreement recently concluded between Her Majesty's Government and the Australian Government for the supply of uranium ore to the United Kingdom;
(4) whether the safeguards to be applied to the uranium ore which will be supplied to the United Kingdom by the Australian Government following the recent agreement between the two Governments will be co-ordinated with the safeguard arrangements applied either by the International Atomic Energy Agency or by Euratom;
(5) whether the safeguards to be applied to the uranium ore to be supplied by the Australian Government contain provisions for the free movement of the ore or any of its derivatives amongst the nine member states signatory to the Euratom Treaty;
(6) if he will publish the terms of the agreement between the United Kingdom and Australian Governments for the supply of uranium ore in regard to the safeguards which the Australian Government are imposing on the use of the ore;
(7) when he concluded the recent agreement with the Australian Government for the supply of uranium ore to the United Kingdom;
§ Mr. Benn
A nuclear safeguards agreement between the United Kingdom and Australia has been initialled by officials. Discussions on the terms of an exchange of notes between the United Kingdom and Australia on uranium supply are taking place and I hope will soon be successfully concluded. Information on these exchanges would then be made public. Any uranium supplied following these exchanges would be subject to the safeguards agreement.
The Australian Government are aware of the conditions imposed by the Euratom Treaty on the supply of uranium to Community countries. The safeguards agreement that has been initialled contains specific provisions to meet the requirements of the Euratom Treaty. A copy of that agreement has been communicated to the Commission. Compliance with the agreement will be ensured by a system of safeguards applied by Euratom and the International Atomic Energy Agency in accordance with the Safeguards Agreement concluded on 6th September 1976 between the United Kingdom, Euratom and the Agency. 12W Agency safeguards do not apply to uranium ores but commence at the stage of the fuel cycle where the material is of a composition suitable for fuel fabrication or isotopic enrichment. Euratom safeguards cover the whole fuel cycle including uranium ores.