Australia’s nuclear submarine project under the AUKUS pact ‘stuck’ as US, UK aim to ‘cut off’ wings of the self-sustaining Chinese navy
Australia’s nuclear submarine project under the AUKUS pact ‘stuck’ as US, UK aim to ‘cut off’ wings of the self-sustaining Chinese navy

Australia’s nuclear submarine project under the AUKUS pact ‘stuck’ as US, UK aim to ‘cut off’ wings of the self-sustaining Chinese navy

The AUKUS pact between the United States, Britain and Australia, which aims to help Canberra develop nuclear submarines, has been the subject of controversy. In a new row, Australia is now facing internal opposition to creating nuclear submarine infrastructure.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had announced last month that a submarine base would be established on Australia’s east coast and the cities of Port Kembla, Newcastle and Brisbane were ripped off as possible bases. It has since been implied that Port Kembla has emerged as the preferred location for the base.

However, the coveted site has a history of opposition to military activity, which is now spreading like a damper on Canberra’s plans.

Wharfies in Port Kembla, south of Sydney, had refused to load molten iron ore on its way to Japanese military production in the 1938 war with China.

Some residents, such as Alexander Brown of Wollongong against war and nuclear weapons, believe the city’s peaceful history is one reason it should not be used as a base for Australia’s new nuclear submarines, ABC News reported.

Clever nuclear submarine by the Royal Navy – Wikipedia

“We are a city of peace and we are a city of sustainable and sustainable employment. We do not want to become a defense industry city,” he said at 7.30. for marine life, for the ecosystem on which we all depend. “

A fundamental challenge in Australia’s construction of a nuclear submarine is the lack of nuclear infrastructure in the country. Australia does not have nuclear weapons and does not use electricity produced from radioactive materials. It has one nuclear reactor; however, it is used only for non-military research.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison had previously stated that the submarines would be built in Australia, but not the reactor rooms, because the country’s current plan does not include building a nuclear power industry capable of supporting the program, the EurAsian Times had noted.

submarine-china
File image: Chinese submarine

The AUKUS Pact was signed last year amid growing tensions between the West and nuclear-armed China, which has steadily gained ground in the Pacific, a region that Australia considers its traditional sphere of influence.

It is believed that China’s long-range nuclear-capable missiles, such as the DF-26, could even endanger Western assets in the Pacific.

However, opposition to nuclear and military activity at the base location chosen by Canberra could become a major blockade of submarine construction. This has led some parts of the country to speculate that the submarine construction may need to shift to one overseas location.

Incentives against concerns

Until very recently, the Australian administration had to calm the nerves of the Southeast Asian countries engaged in the atomization of the region. But it is now distorting its resources to convince its people that nuclear construction in the region can be effectively managed against risks.

Debra Murphy of Illawarra Regional Development Australia said the city should seize the opportunity by highlighting the incentives for such a construction project taking place in the Kemblan territory.

“If we had four submarines, we think we would get 7,000 jobs, and the majority of them would be high-value, high-paying jobs,” she said.

“The word ‘nuclear power’ creates fear. But we know that the potential problems around nuclear power can be dealt with effectively, just as it is in Lucas Heights, for example, where (ANSTO) the nuclear reactor is.”

Submarine-US Navy
File image: US Submarine

It is pertinent to mention that Australia’s only nuclear reactor is used in a limited way and exclusively for non-military and non-offensive purposes. However, the construction of a submarine is part of a plan to create military deterrence with China in the region.

Secretary of Defense Peter Dutton recently said $ 381 million will be spent on improve the periscopes of the existing Collins Class fleet, ensuring that they remain relevant in the current strategic environment. But he declined to say when the new nuclear submarines would be built and deployed, or how much construction work would be carried out in Australia.

Overseas submarine construction

Rex Patrick, a former submarine man and independent senator from South Australia, felt that the language surrounding a local construction was too ambiguous. “The government continues to push for the timetable, which means that they have to reduce the risk wherever they can.

“The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has predicted that this project will cost around $ 170 billion. An overseas building is the export of $ 170 billion of taxpayers’ money and thousands of Australian jobs to foreign shipyards,” he said.

The Labor Party must be properly educated about the AUKUS event before making any decisions or issuing a guarantee if elected, Shadow Defense Minister Brendan O’Connor told 7.30. “We will do everything we possibly can to ensure that these assets are built in Australia,” he said.

K-TIG, an Adelaide-based company, said it was willing to invest in a high-tech welding plant to achieve part of the nuclear submarine operation, but only if the next government provided security.

The country goes to the polls next month. Some others in Australia have suggested that it would be profitable if the submarines were built abroad or purchased on lease from the United States and the United Kingdom.

The dangers of nuclear power plants have become more defined following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, creating fears of nuclear infrastructure among civilians around the world. The hesitation among the people of Port Kembla could be understood as a by-product of the same set of concerns.

It is still unknown whether the Australian government would be able to convince the people, actually move the base abroad or consider other options that remain on the table.

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