Australian Uranium Exports: Nuclear Issues and the Policy Process

  • Russell B. Trood


Over the past decade the controversy which has surrounded nuclear power and technology since the end of the second world war has increased in intensity. The changing tempo of the international debate over the issue has been most noticeable in the nuclear consuming countries of western Europe, North America and in Japan where the expansion of commercial nuclear facilities to meet the rising demand has attracted considerable domestic opposition. However, the debate over nuclear power has not just been confined to these countries. It is perhaps one further indication of the growing interdependence of states in the international system that during the 1970s a debate over the safety and utility of nuclear power developed in Australia which was equal in intensity to any of those taking place around the world. Yet in contrast to those other debates Australia’s did not emerge from the process of formulating national defence or energy policies; rather it arose in conjunction with policy decisions regarding resource development and more particularly the exploitation of Australia’s uranium reserves. Put another way, Australia approached the dilemmas posed by the use of nuclear power from the standpoint of being a supplier of nuclear material rather than as a consumer of nuclear energy.


Nuclear Export Uranium Mining World Politics Uranium Enrichment Enrichment Facility 
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  1. 1.
    For details of the first phase of Australian uranium development, see: R. K. Warner, “The Australian Uranium Industry”, Atomic Energy in Australia, 19 (2), (Apr. 1976) pp. 19–31;Google Scholar
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    Media Release, “Uranium Enrichment”, 23 Jan. 1979, Department of Trade and Resources, Canberra. At the end of 1978 it was reported that a Japanese study had recommended the establishment of a uranium enrichment facility in Northern Australia. See CR vol. 4, no. 1, p. 25.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Robert Boardman and James F. Keeley 1983

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  • Russell B. Trood

There are no affiliations available

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