Australian govt chose submarine design so that they could later be transformed to nuclear submarines

Business SA says Future Submarine fleet could include nuclear-powered versions once local atomic industry is established, Adelaide Now April 30, 2016  State political reporter Daniel Wills, Paris, France, Sunday Mail (SA) AUSTRALIA’S future submarine fleet could be transitioned to include a potent mix of both intelligence gathering diesel boats and rapid, fast-moving nuclear-powered vessels once the state develops a sophisticated atomic industry based around storage, Business SA says.

The Federal Government is facing calls from across the strategic policy and business communities, as well as from an outspoken SA Senator, to strongly consider the nuclear option.

Premier Jay Weatherill visited DCNS’ Cherbourg shipyard last on Friday Adelaide time, just hours after SA was chosen as the likely site of a low-level nuclear waste dump and as former governor Kevin Scare puts the finishing touches on a Royal Commission due for release within days.

Business SA chief executive Nigel McBride, who joined the Cherbourg tour to observe the construction of a nuclear Barracuda sub that will become the template for Australia’s diesel fleet, said there was strong national defence reasons for having a mix of the two…..

Mr McBride told the Sunday Mail that building community confidence behind nuclear storage was crucial before the question of expanding the industry into defence capabilities.

“As we’ve gone around Europe and looked at their nuclear cycle, and take into account the likely final recommendations from the Royal Commission in regards to the storage of waste, we will as a nation and state soon come to a decision about if we participate or not,” he said…….

Mr McBride said storage was a “starting point” in a discussion about other applications.

The first future sub is set to hit the water in the early 2030s, about the time when Mr Scarce says the state could have a storage industry up and running if it moved to do so immediately……

“We walked around a facility today which had a significant nuclear threat, nobody even blinked. We walked around and took it for granted that it would be professionally contained,” Mr McBride said……

Senator Day said there was “no escaping” the strategic need for nuclear subs…….

“The winning DCNS bid links SA with a French nation with nuclear subs and nuclear power. This opens up great opportunities for SA to learn how to embrace all facets of the nuclear fuel cycle.”…….

Mr Thomson said diesel subs were valuable in “certain, specific circumstances”.

“But if you had to choose between 12 nuclear or 12 conventional subs, it’s a no-brainer. You’d have the nuclear subs every time…

Australian law currently bars the use of nuclear subs………


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