The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said in a statement that the troika of allies including Australia, the UK and the US have notified the agency of the formation of a new trilateral security partnership called AUUKUS. The statement further said that the three allies informed the IAEA Director General, Rafael Grossi, about the 18 months efforts of Australia, the UK and the US to identify the best way to support Australia’s acquisition of conventional nuclear powered submarine capabilities for the Australian Navy. The three allies vowed to maintain both the nuclear non-proliferation regime and Australia’s exemplary reputation in the field of non-proliferation. In fact, the three friendly states are attempting to regularize a felony by taking advantage of informing the Shariff about a plan of rigging the rule. However, the fact remained unchanged that a non-nuclear weapon state (NNWS) is being equipped with Nuclear teeth with the active support of watchmen of the town. However, IAEA’s Director General, Rafael Grossi behaved exactly like a gentleman and agreed to interact with them on the issue in accordance with the existing mandate and safeguards agreements.
In fact, the IAEA has had very strict rules regarding nuclear non-proliferation and transfer of naval nuclear reactors for any proposed peaceful military use by the non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS) since its inception. During the 1980s, Canada approached the IAEA with a similar request in which the country intended to conclude some arrangement with the IAEA for withdrawal of nuclear material for use in the nuclear powered version of its UF-6 type submarine. According to the plan, Canada wanted to export the UF-6 submarine to a Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) and after enrichment of nuclear material, the submarine was to re-import by Canada and thus the country got the possession of a conventional nuclear-powered submarine. However, the IAEA discouraged Canada from following this doctrine. Presently, the only non-nuclear weapon State Brazil has an active nuclear-powered submarine program, but its submarine is in construction phase and yet not under the IAEA’s safeguards.
According to experts, the IAEA has always discouraged non-nuclear weapons states (NNWS) from maintaining nuclear powered submarines because withdrawal from the safeguard of nuclear material for use in naval reactors increases the potential risk of diversion of fissile material toward use at other facilities/ projects. According to analysts, the current move of AUUKUS is intended to enhance Australia’s Naval capabilities against the looming threat of Chinese sea-based Nukes in the broader Indo-Pacific region. Australia wants to build eight Nuclear Powered Submarine (SSNs) to avert Chinese threat, however the plan is also a part of greater US Indo-Pacific strategy to counter Chinese military influence in the region and beyond.
The defense analysts are of the view that deployment of nuclear-powered ballistic Missiles Submarines (SSBNs) can be helpful in compromising enemy nuclear Forces by using both kinetic and non-kinetic strategic non-nuclear weapons by a non-nuclear weapon state (NNWS), furthermore, this capability has also cut the journey of a non-nuclear weapon state (NNWS) to become an official Nuclear Weapon State. Although the plan being pursued by Australia and its allies is highly thoughtful, it must get the nod of the IAEA’s board of governors in the coming days. Australian allies may have made the ground for approval of the strategy at IAEA’s platform; however, China is likely to exert stern resistance to halt the troika’s plan at the world forum in the days to come.