AUSTRALIA has agreed to sell uranium to the United Arab Emirates as one of the Middle East's richest oil kingdoms switches to nuclear power.
The Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr, signed a safeguards agreement in Abu Dhabi yesterday, intended to guarantee Australian uranium is only used for peaceful purposes.
The deal, potentially worth up to $200 million in yellowcake exports, follows the controversial shift by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, last year to overturn Labor's ban on uranium sales to India.
Senator Carr said the UAE would become the first Middle East market for Australian uranium in what has been interpreted as a sign of faith in the nuclear industry.
But anti-nuclear campaigners slammed the deal. ''Germany has committed to get out of nuclear power within a decade and nations such as Switzerland, Belgium and Italy are moving away from nuclear power,'' said Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation Foundation.
Michael Angwin from the Australian Uranium Association said the government provided a warranty to protect the exports with the safeguards arrangements.