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“Despite some recent slowing in the industry, two important drivers of nuclear power remain unchanged – the rising energy demand from growing populations and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Gray said on Wednesday.
Over the next two decades India and China are set to bring 35 nuclear reactors online.
“With our existing strong trade relationships with these countries, Australia is well placed to reap the benefits of supplying uranium to these countries.” said the minister.
China currently exports around 22 per cent of its uranium from Australia.
India and Australia will hold a second round of discussions on a civil nuclear cooperation agreement towards the end of the month, which is set to pave the way for significant exports in the future.
In December 2011, Australia decided to reverse its ban to sell uranium to India, despite India not signing the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).
Russia is another key target for Australian uranium exports, the minister added.
“The Australian government has also taken steps to improve access to other international markets. In 2010, we signed an agreement with Russia to supply uranium for civil nuclear facilities. The first shipment was made last year,” he added.
Gray said there is a need for the industry to boost production even as demand threatens to outrun supply.
“We need industry to commit to further development of new mines to ensure uranium production meets global demand, particularly as demand is forecast to outstrip supply as early as next year.”
Australia is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of uranium with 33 per cent of the world’s uranium resources.