Nuclear subs: dangerous delusion

Electrical Trades Union

The Electrical Trades Union has condemned Scott Morrison's decision to embrace nuclear submarines as one that will expose Australians to greater danger on multiple fronts.

ETU National Assistant Secretary Michael Wright said the decision had not been subject to appropriate scrutiny.

"After completely bungling the Naval Group submarines deal, the Commonwealth Government expects us to believe it can be trusted to negotiate and manage the delivery of nuclear submarines. This is preposterous," Mr Wright said.

"Nuclear submarines will require significant offshore maintenance, undermining Australia's sovereign capability. Surely the recent experience with COVID demonstrated the danger of relying on international supply chains for the core needs of a self-respecting nation?

Mr Wright said the decision represented a betrayal on two fronts.

"This decision represents a betrayal of responsibility to Australia's non-nuclear policy and a betrayal of two generations of highly-skilled, secure, well-paying Australian shipbuilding jobs."

"It is dangerous and delusional to rely on nuclear submarines for our defence. We are fearful this will also cost Australia much needed engineering, manufacturing, and construction jobs. We need answers as to where and how these nuclear submarines will be built. We need these answers quickly.

"Nuclear technology is inherently dangerous, something ETU members have known first hand for decades. Has Mr Morrison given any thought to where the spent fuel rods from these nuclear submarines will be stored? Australians have a right to know the answers to these important questions before the Prime Minister makes such dangerous decisions on our behalf."

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