Submarine Institute of Australia (SIA) is convening a seminar next month to examine whether submarines could pave the way for the development of a nuclear industry in Australia. The aim of the seminar is to encourage a broader consideration of the role of nuclear power in Australia and is not intended to influence debate around the Future Submarine Program. The SIA continues to support the Attack Class program.

This forum builds on one held in 2019 entitled ‘A Nuclear Industry Future for Australia? Starting the conversation which looked at the possibility of a nuclear industry supporting both civil and naval requirements. It became evident through that discussion that many Australians with misgivings about nuclear power stations, may understand and support nuclear power for submarines. This next seminar will consider the outlook for Australia’s national security situation over the next few decades, the benefits of nuclear propulsion for submarines, the potential for Australian industry if nuclear powered submarines were acquired in the future, developments in nuclear reactors for non-military application and the relevance and impact of extant legislation regarding nuclear power plants for civilian or naval requirements. Australian submarines with nuclear propulsion could potentially be but the first step in a broader Australian nuclear power industry.

Specifically, the program will explore a range of topics including the commonality of nuclear industry to civil and naval applications, nuclear waste management, nuclear power and social licence, the implications for Australian from China’s growing navy, the prohibition of nuclear power in Australia as well as the development of small modular reactors in Australia and overseas.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott will present the Keynote Address. Speakers include Ted O’Brien MP, Chair of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Energy. Steve Ludlam (former CEO of ASC); Dr Joanne Lackenby (President, Australian Nuclear Association); Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC (former Governor of South Australia and Royal Commissioner into The Nuclear Fuel Cycle); Professor Hugh White (ANU); Sam Roggeveen (Lowy Institute).


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  1. Yes a nuclear submarine industry in australia would be of great value and we can work better with our american allies better also overall nuclear submarines are far more beneficial in warfare but geez what is going on in australia with the manufacture of the new french attack submarines is stupid and a m I money waster who wants to wait until the year 2050 for the last submarine to be built geez australian defence is not a game or a joke or political AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE IS HERE TO WIN IN WARFARE so please MR POLITICIAN WAKE UP and do the right decisions TO WIN IN WARFARE.

    • True, but it seems to be a political money maker for certain people. There are so many proven designs around the world far better than this mishmash of an unguarenteed conversion of a nuclear boat to a diesel one. Politicians are not to be trusted to make defence decisions, only the experts are.

    • you’re going to have a derivative of the new French nuclear attack submarines with an American combat system, I don’t really see what the problem is, unless it’s because it’s French.

  2. No chance at all.
    There is, unfortunately, no appetite for, greenhouse emission free, nuclear power in Australia and therefore no chance of ever being able to support nuclear submarines.

  3. Rather than judge without facts, how about we let science & truth be the basis of change? I like solar, hydro & wind; but they are not suited to commercial use for manufacturing steel & aluminium nor commercial refrigeration (you thought your apples stayed crunchy for 8 months naturally?). If we add the load for millions of electric vehicles, there’ll be a major shortfall in the generation of electricity needed for baseload usage (you know traffic lights, hospital life support, train power & signals).

    Would appreciate being able to view the seminar online as I’m stuck in Sydney.

  4. We should have nuclear power plants in the desert. No risk of ruining land if it blows up… We have the uranium

  5. Australia can’t keep relying on the US. Nuclear submarines and the right kinds of nuclear weapons would guarantee security. Might be time we grew up.

  6. I agree with Isaac, we should have nuclear power plants now! Out in the middle of the country, in the desert region.. not that i think it would blow up. just saying!

  7. Yes we could build nuclear power plants in the desert but given the distances involved and a little thing called Voltage Drop they’d produce power that no one could afford to use.

  8. Will not happen, every proposed site would overnight become a “Sacred Site”, and if that did not stop it they would find an “endangered species” or a “last great” something or other.

    And if all that failed, then it would be a “secret women’s business” problem.

    Try building the Snowy Scheme today or a dam on any river anywhere in Australia.


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