UN nuclear surveillance to scrutinize AUKUS submarine safeguards


Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong reaffirmed the country’s commitment to non-proliferation after meeting with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on July 4.

Rafael Grossi, head of the IAEA, was in Adelaide. There he met with Australia’s Foreign Minister to discuss the international security environment, the risks of nuclear proliferation by the North Korean and Iranian governments, and safeguards regarding the imminent AUKUS agreement between Australia. America, and England.

“I reiterated Australia’s full commitment to our obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the South Pacific Treaty of Rarotong Zones,” said the Foreign Minister. won I told AAP after the meeting.

Epoch Times Photo
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong at the Pacific Islands Forum on May 26, 2022 in Suva, Fiji. (Pita Simpson / Getty Images)

“I reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to work transparently and openly with the IAEA to ensure that the acquisition of nuclear submarines sets the highest possible non-proliferation standards.”

After the meeting, Mr. Grossi said Australia’s commitment to non-proliferation reassured him.

“We must ensure that what is done in this area does not violate the basic principle of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons,” he said in a comment. Australian Broadcasting Corporation..

Nuclear submarines are classified in the IAEA gray area

Under the AUKUS Agreement, Australia will be one of the few countries in the world to manage nuclear submarines, and the power of non-nuclear weapons will be the only one in the world.

An agreement approved in September 2021 under the former Morrison government to counter Beijing’s invasion in the adjacent area puts Australia in the gray area under the IAEA’s safeguards.

Safeguards are designed to monitor the use of nuclear material around the world and prevent the use of nuclear material in weapons.

Still, they do not cover the use of nuclear material to propel the Navy — a situation designed to prevent the sharing of top secret technology between countries.

Grossi said last year that it was “very difficult” to deal with the AUKUS agreement, but it was manageable.

Rafael Mariano Grossi
Rafael Mariano Grossi, Secretary-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), spoke at an AFP interview in Vienna, Austria, on November 30, 2020. (AlexHalada / AFP via Getty Images)

“One country … has been robbing inspectors of material for some time. We’re talking about very enriched uranium,” he told the BBC. HardTalk program September 24, 2021.

“This means that we need to enter into very complex technical negotiations with Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom to ensure that there is no nuclear non-proliferation as a result. Proliferation system. “

He also told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the nuclear ship had been underwater for months and IAEA inspectors would not have access to the submarine. Second, AUKUS partners need to find a way to ensure that regular inspections are carried out to meet their non-proliferation obligations.

Daniel Y. Ten


Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. He focuses on national politics, including federal politics, COVID-19 response, and relations between Australia and China. Do you have a hint? Contact him at [email protected].