Submarine Institute of Australia

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Rigorous process around future submarines


13th September 2016

Media Release - 14 September 2016


Media statement from the Executive Director of the Submarine Institute of Australia, David Nicholls:

“The Submarine Institute of Australia (SIA) supports decisions the Australian Government, including the Department of Defence, has made about national security as they relate to the procurement of new submarines.

“Decisions have been made following rigorously undertaken analysis and globally-credible, high-level advice.

“Claims about risks to the safety of Australian defence personnel on new submarines are an emotional exaggeration, to say the least.

“Australia having nuclear-propelled submarines may well happen at some stage in the future, but it is naïve to believe that acquiring nuclear-powered submarines is merely a matter of releasing a ‘request-for-tender’ and waiting for the responses to come in.

“Nuclear propulsion technology for submarines is the most carefully protected warship system information in the world.

“Australia will need to put in place levels of training, regulatory control, logistical support and engineering expertise/capability, which do not currently exist in Australia, before any serious consideration of nuclear-powered submarine technology transfer takes place.

“The SIA estimates such preparations would take in the order of 15-20 years.

“If a Government decision is taken to investigate nuclear propulsion, it would be appropriate for these preparations to begin as soon as possible once the decision to adopt nuclear energy is taken.

“The SIA looks forward to constructively contributing to this process.”

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