Australia badly needs a modern submarine fleet to replace its ageing Collins-class submarines in order to ensure the security of its sea lines of communication in an increasingly volatile Indo-Pacific region. Its future submarines will be required to operate further from home, including in the South China Sea.
To a very large degree, anything associated with a nuclear industry or which has a nuclear basis, whether civilian or military, is anathema in Australia.
Such thinking impedes Australia’s climate commitments, as well as its defence strategy.
The delays and cost overruns that now hinder Australia’s Attack-class submarines ought to provide further reason to revisit the need for a domestic nuclear sector.
By countering some of the arguments put forward against the creation of a domestic nuclear sector, this paper attempts to restart the discussion of the advantages to be gained from one.