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Filter by September, 2010

Iran's first nuclear power plant: a proliferation threat?

On 21 August 2010, Russian engineers began loading fuel into the Bushehr nuclear reactor in southern Iran. Once the start-up is complete, Bushehr will be the first operational nuclear power plant in the Middle East.Construction of two nuclear reactors at Bushehr began in 1975, following an agreement between the Shah’s government and German company Kraftwerk Union, a subsidiary of Siemens. At the time of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, one of the reactors was reported to be 75 per cent complete. Following the Revolution, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini announced his opposition to nuclear technology, labelling it a ‘suspicious Western innovation’ and construction at Bushehr was susp... Read more...

Seeking asylum: Australia's humanitarian response to a global challenge

Australia currently accepts about 13 750 refugees and other humanitarian entrants each year, but there remains a great deal of confusion surrounding the details of Australia's humanitarian responses and the complex visa arrangements involved. This new Parliamentary Library Background Note, Seeking asylum: Australia's humanitarian response to a global challenge, aims to clarify some of these issues. It looks at the differences between the offshore and onshore components of Australia's Humanitarian Program and includes some useful statistics dating back to 1945. Other related papers published recently include: Asylum seekers and refugees: what are the facts?; Australian Government assistance t... Read more...

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