Statement from the Australian Academy of Science: AUKUS nuclear submarine announcement

March 14, 2023
Professor Chennupati Jagadish, President of the Australian Academy of Science

Quotes attributable to Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC PresAA FREng FTSE, President of the Australian Academy of Science. 

“Building capability in nuclear science will be central to achieving the aims of the Australian Government in developing a nuclear-powered submarine capability. 

“Even before AUKUS, there was an increased demand for knowledge in nuclear science in Australia. The AUKUS partnership to acquire nuclear-powered defence submarines, the increasing use of radiotherapies in medicine, focuses on quantum technologies, development of materials robust enough to withstand space radiation—all these sectors require a deep understanding of nuclear physics and subatomic interactions to ensure they are safe and effective. 

“Nuclear science in Australia faces a skills crisis. We are significantly behind our peer nations in national nuclear and radiation science capability. 

“Demand for nuclear scientists to meet existing workforce needs, let alone the national capacity to benefit from new developments in nuclear physics, is running well above supply and the capacity of Australian universities to train sufficient scientists. Australia is overly dependent on overseas trained workforce and lacks the capacity to train new nuclear scientists to meet our existing needs.” 


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced details of a nuclear-powered submarine deal with the United Kingdom and the United States under the AUKUS partnership on 14 March 2023.

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