Frazer-Nash Consultancy, a KBR company, has been commissioned by Defence SA to help ensure local industry expertise and capability is at the forefront during the roll-out of the nation’s first nuclear-powered submarine fleet.
The South Australian Submarine Taskforce was established earlier this year to support the Department of Defence’s Nuclear-powered Submarine Taskforce in delivering an optimal pathway for the submarine program. This will involve the construction of at least eight new nuclear-powered submarines at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide as part of the AUKUS security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The taskforce, chaired by Defence SA, is working closely with state government agencies, local industry and local government representatives to discuss key focus areas including safety, environmental protection, facilities and infrastructure, industrial base capacity and workforce.
Frazer-Nash’s role is to support Defence SA by investigating state government legislation and safety requirements for nuclear technology in order to maximise opportunities for successful delivery of the nuclear-powered submarine program.
Senior Consultant, Dr Ben Heard, said this was vital work in the initial phase of the submarine program and said Frazer-Nash’s significant nuclear expertise will be utilised. “We’ll be looking for any challenges or barriers, assessing the risks and identifying a spectrum of scenarios and impacts, given what we know of the processes and technologies,” he said. “The timeframe of the submarine program is challenging, so this is important work to ensure the build is on the right track from the start and that the South Australian Submarine Taskforce has considered all the potential impacts.”