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An Australian nuclear industry.
Starting with submarines?
Edited by Tom Frame
Hardback, 230 pages, $49.95
Australia is an early adopter of new technology and Australians are usually receptive to practical innovations. Nuclear power is, however, the notable exception. Over the past half-century, several inquiries have recognised the potential benefits and possible advantages of a local nuclear industry but a single nuclear power station has yet to proceed beyond the concept stage.
Submarines represent the most extensive application of nuclear power throughout the world, other than for industrial and household use. In 2016, the Australian Government announced that the 12 French-designed Attack class submarines replacing the ageing Collins class would be ‘regionally superior’ but conventionally powered. Nuclear propulsion was not considered.
This collection of thoughtful essays by highly experienced policy-makers, nuclear engineers, energy analysts and strategic planners considers the case for establishing an Australian nuclear industry, starting with the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines to meet Australia’s rapidly changing defence needs. The contributors call for an informed discussion of nuclear power that transcends the ideological rigidities of the 1980s and 1990s. Their insightful views provide a firm foundation for a continuing conversation the nation cannot avoid.
Professor Tom Frame AM is Director of the Public Leadership Research Group at UNSW Canberra and a former naval officer.
1 Nuclear power and the public interest Tom Frame
2 Politics versus rationality Theo Theophanous
3 Australia’s past, present and potential nuclear capability Lyndon Edwards
4 Australian uranium mines and mills Mark Ho
5 Nuclear fuel cycle: International and Australian practices Tony Irwin
6 Nuclear power for electricity Ben Heard
7 Small modular reactors Tony Irwin
8 Too cheap to meter or too expensive to matter? Stephen Wilson
9 Nuclear power and climate change Ben Heard
10 Australia’s strategic outlook and submarine capability Malcolm Davis
11 Nuclear power for submarines Denis Mole
12 Where to from here? Tom Frame