21 Nov 2011

Australian PM looking to end uranium ban

7:00 am on 21 November 2011

Australia is in a distinct dilemma between its political past and its economic future.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is proposing to end a ban by the Labor Party on selling uranium to India.

Australia already sells the nuclear fuel to China, Japan and the United States, but has left out Delhi until now because it has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

Radio New Zealand's Sydney correspondent says Australia has the largest uranium reserves in the world, with 23% of the world's total.

The uranium is sold strictly for power generation only, but a recent move to a carbon pricing scheme has lifted pressure on Canberra to bow to international pressure and exempt India from export restrictions.

Ms Gillard's defiance of Labor's left curiously coincided with US President Barrack Obama announcing an expanded US-Australian military presence in Darwin.