Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Neil King Jr, "US ends effort to ban sale of enrichment technology," Wall Street Journal, April 19,2008.

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration has given up its push for an international ban on sales of uranium-enrichment technology to nonnuclear states, a move that will complicate its nuclear diplomacy toward both Iran and India, and could open the way for a wave of new entrants into the enrichment club.

The concession was made under heavy pressure from Canada, which wants the right to build uranium-enrichment plants to export the lucrative enriched fuel for nuclear-power plants. It marks an about-face for President Bush, who called in February 2004 for a ban on new countries becoming enrichment powers. The U.S. then persuaded Canada and other reluctant members of the Group of Eight top industrialized countries to agree to a nuclear-sales moratorium, a ban the group has renewed every year since....

The policy shift within the administration comes after lengthy debate between the White House and the State Department over how to accommodate Canada's quest to become an enrichment state. Canada produces, and then exports in raw form, more than a quarter of the world's uranium....

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