Weekly Roundup: Reacting to the 'Aukus' Alliance

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Nuclear Plant

The Australia-UK-US (Aukus) alliance unveiled this week, which would see Washington and London transfer nuclear-powered submarine technology to Canberra, prompted fierce reactions across the world. Paris was furious, as the arrangement involves Australia walking away from a A$90 billion (US$66 billion) deal for French-supplied non-nuclear submarines agreed in 2016. Tokyo and Taipei welcomed what is widely seen as a check on Beijing's rising influence in Asia, while nonproliferation experts expressed concern about the implications of the deal: US/UK nuclear submarines currently use 93%-97% highly enriched uranium. And Beijing was irate. Aukus is a "sheer act of nuclear proliferation," China's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency told the agency's board this week. "Such an act of nuclear proliferation will give rise to serious negative implications on the on-going international efforts to address the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula as well as the Iranian nuclear issue."

Nuclear Policy
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