The nuclear pact was signed following a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott during which the two leaders deliberated on crucial bilateral, regional and international issues including the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine.
    
Welcoming signing of the agreement, Modi said it was a "historic milestone" in bilateral relationship.
    
"It is a reflection of a new level of mutual trust and confidence in our relationship and will open a new chapter in our bilateral cooperation. It will support India's efforts to fuel its growth with clean energy and minimise the carbon footprint of its growth," he said at a joint press briefing with Abbott.
    
Australia has about a third of the world's recoverable uranium resources and exports nearly 7,000 tonnes of it a year. India and Australia had launched talks on uranium sales in 2012 after Canberra lifted a long-time ban on exporting the valuable yellow cake to Delhi to meet its ambitious nuclear energy programme.
    
Aimed at promoting cooperation in the field peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the agreement recognises India's commitment to and use of nuclear energy with a view to achieving sustainable development and strengthening energy security.
    
"Australia can play the role of a long-term reliable supplies of uranium to India. It provides for supply of uranium, production of radio isotopes, nuclear safety and other areas of cooperation," as per the pact details.

Today's pact is significant given that Indian nuclear plants generate around 4680 MW of electricity, of which the 2840 MW was from indigenous uranium while 1840 MW was from imported fuel.
    
On his part, Abbott termed the day as "remarkable" for him as well as for Indo-Aus ties and said Australia "trusts India to do the right thing (in the nuclear area) as it has been doing in other areas" and his country was happy to help in meeting energy demand of 1.2 billion-strong India.
    
The two Prime Ministers directed the negotiators to conclude the administrative arrangements pertaining to the civil nuclear pact at an early date. According to officials, it may take up to two years for India to receive the first consignment of uranium from Australia.
    
The civil nuclear deal is among the four pacts signed -Cooperation in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as also in Water Resources Management and sports.
    
Noting that Australia has received commitments from India that uranium supplied by it would not be used in Indian nuclear weapons or be used to quarantine Indian domestic supplies of uranium for nuclear weapons, Abbott has said "India has an absolutely impeccable non-proliferation record and India has been a model international citizen."

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