Thoughts on Australia as a nuclear power?

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Taylor

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Jul 16, 2009
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I'm not sure it makes us any safer to have nuclear weapons unless we felt we couldn't rely on our partners and allies to jump in to help us.
 

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Mofra

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Dec 6, 2005
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Nuclear powered boats fine

Dunno about weapons, i thought we signed the non proliferation treaty?

Will we invade ourselves for having wmds?
Nuclear powered subs won't violate the treaty.

For decades our Defence White Paper has been largely about protecting the sea lane between Australia and Singapore, where a lot of our refining capacity exists. The major advantage that nuclear powered subs have over conventional subs is range, and the fact they don't have to snort every ~48 hours which makes the vulnerable to air attack.
Range for nuclear powered subs are limited by food stores (1) and the morale of a crew being underwater for days/weeks at a time.

This is a major capacity upgrade for Australia but I do wonder how it will be received regionally. India, South Korea and Japan will be over the moon (no doubt high-ranking Indians officials were briefed recently on the Dutton visit) but China will be pissed. A nuclear powered sub Australia (and the associated maintenance facility for US subs docking here) is probably the only real threat to China's authority in the SC Sea.
 

Baltimore Jack

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Jan 12, 2011
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I think the only advantage the collins class has over the nuclear fleet is that it can go completely silent, where as the cooling pumps for the nuclear reactor are always running.
Ha ha, when the Collins Subs set sail from Perth, people in Sri Lanka could be heard saying "what the ferk is that noise"
 

mattf83

Premiership Player
Feb 9, 2007
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Nuclear powered subs won't violate the treaty.

For decades our Defence White Paper has been largely about protecting the sea lane between Australia and Singapore, where a lot of our refining capacity exists. The major advantage that nuclear powered subs have over conventional subs is range, and the fact they don't have to snort every ~48 hours which makes the vulnerable to air attack.
Range for nuclear powered subs are limited by food stores (1) and the morale of a crew being underwater for days/weeks at a time.

This is a major capacity upgrade for Australia but I do wonder how it will be received regionally. India, South Korea and Japan will be over the moon (no doubt high-ranking Indians officials were briefed recently on the Dutton visit) but China will be pissed. A nuclear powered sub Australia (and the associated maintenance facility for US subs docking here) is probably the only real threat to China's authority in the SC Sea.
A nuclear subs range is decades, crazy.

Its a brave move, it seems the Howard, Rudd, Abbott and Turnbull Govts all had an opportunity to go nuclear and didn't. It would be interesting to see what the cost of R&D for the scrapped project is.
 

Taylor

Community Leader
Jul 16, 2009
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A nuclear subs range is decades, crazy.

Its a brave move, it seems the Howard, Rudd, Abbott and Turnbull Govts all had an opportunity to go nuclear and didn't. It would be interesting to see what the cost of R&D for the scrapped project is.
Anything nuclear has a risk to it.

Even announcing fusion power being built would be protested as dangerous by some people. I'm sure there will be people upset about nuclear submarines at garden island that drive right past the US fleet parked at Fremantle.
 

ExcitementMachine

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Aug 5, 2019
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Terrific and long over due decision. However ALP will just play politics and like the LNP did with the NBN switch to some rubbish solution like evolved Collins that will ultimately cost more and be essentially useless

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Oh I doubt that. Labor guilt by association of being a major party in with all the liberal politicking you say?
 

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Power Raid

TheBrownDog
Oct 15, 2004
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I think the only advantage the collins class has over the nuclear fleet is that it can go completely silent, where as the cooling pumps for the nuclear reactor are always running.
that was important 40 years ago but satellites can carry out that function now


the new french subs could never happen as they needed to reduce in size by 60%, go nuclear or invent a new propulsion system. I was aware the first three new subs were going to be conventional, the last three nuclear and question marks over the middle six.

This decision suggests the reduction in size was not palatable due to the loss in capabilities and the new propulsion system could not be invented (surprise surprise).


this is the most logical decision the ADF has made in decades. I say this as one nuclear sub has the capability of six conventional subs and sending "young kids" to a certain death may be avoided.
 

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TheBrownDog
Oct 15, 2004
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The ALP has been quite firmly non-nuclear for a while.
not quite true

Liberals commissioned a study for a small modular reactor for Woomera prior to the election they were certain to lose. The relevant government department consulted Labor and Labor fully supported the program.

The reason for the SMR at woomera is to sure up power for the drone defence but more importantly build the capability of the EV military fleet ahead.

The study results have proven ecomomic and would lead to a roll out across Australia if the electorate was supportive. The SMR used for the study is being lead by the Canada but is a majority Australian team.........highlighting we have all the necessary skills in Oz already.
 

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TheBrownDog
Oct 15, 2004
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A nuclear subs range is decades, crazy.

Its a brave move, it seems the Howard, Rudd, Abbott and Turnbull Govts all had an opportunity to go nuclear and didn't. It would be interesting to see what the cost of R&D for the scrapped project is.
$10b getting SA ready
$10b on inventing a new propulsion system
undisclosed full pay out to Germany and Japan for awarding a French Nuclear Sub when a conventional sub was requested.
20 years of planning and team

My punt is $35b which is about the same figure of 12 nuclear subs off the shelf and much cheaper than the $90b program for french subs that have no way of working under current technology.
 

HairyO

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Jul 13, 2015
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A nuclear subs range is decades, crazy.

Its a brave move, it seems the Howard, Rudd, Abbott and Turnbull Govts all had an opportunity to go nuclear and didn't. It would be interesting to see what the cost of R&D for the scrapped project is.
One of the reasons was the shallow waters of SE Asia. Conventional subs are a lot better at sneaking through because generally they have been far smaller.
 

Blue Arrow

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Feb 22, 2019
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This is going cost a ton, but probably a good investment with China building up their military. Hopefully the US helps Korea with their aspirations for nuclear subs so we can keep the CCP inline.
 

Power Raid

TheBrownDog
Oct 15, 2004
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One of the reasons was the shallow waters of SE Asia. Conventional subs are a lot better at sneaking through because generally they have been far smaller.
and more importantly a smaller heat signature

that was relevant whilst china's submarine capabilities were limited due to the location of Yulin naval base (Hainan Island) but now with China's easy access to deep water, the game has changed
 

Taylor

Community Leader
Jul 16, 2009
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What happens if China's military is as reliable as the rest of the stuff they manufacture and their capabilities are part of the regime's propaganda?
 

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