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Thread: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

  1. #81
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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    I believe the cost have come down significantly and it's more effective to build several smaller ones than one large one.

    I did a feature article on this some time ago at: https://electricscotland.com/indepen...sip/energy.htm

    Alastair

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    This story and the following videos are not of the actual testing but have a historical context of events of the day.......................


    How a scared little country became a nuclear wannabe Syney Morning Herald 17 August 2002 — 10:00am


    As the Howard Government revs up the rhetoric about a war against Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, a new documentary reveals how Australian governments pushed for two decades to have their own nuclear weapons.

    The documentary claims the proposed nuclear power station at Jervis Bay was not designed primarily to produce energy for domestic consumption, but as the centrepiece in a secret plan to fortress Australia with a nuclear arsenal
    A co-producer of the documentary, Peter Butt, said yesterday that Fortress Australia was a "story of a country fearful of its enemies and mistrustful of its allies that set out to buy, and ultimately construct, its own nuclear weapons".

    He said: "With war against Iraq now likely, it's timely to confront our own sordid past, when we were once a frightened little country heading down exactly the same path, without considering the consequences."

    Andrew Ross, a military analyst with the Australian Defence Studies Centre at the University of NSW, said that the notion of Fortress Australia should be put in the context of the Cold War, instability in Asia and Australia acting as part of the old British Empire. But it was true that "Australian military strategists were planning to be able to fight a nuclear war in South-East Asia in the 1960s".

    The former United Nations weapons inspector Richard Butler drew another parallel: "Prime Minister Menzies had lied to Australia about the Vietnam War, but we had asked to be invited to join, just as the Howard Government is asking to be in a war against Iraq. Then Sir John Gorton, pushed by Sir Philip Baxter, Australia's Dr Strangelove, sought a nuclear option. Now the Howard Government wants to spend billions on new strike aircraft."

    Sir Philip, head of the Atomic Energy Commission, predicted 30 years ago that Australia would be a lifeboat after a nuclear war around the turn of the century. Most of the northern hemisphere would be uninhabitable and Australians would have to fight off an invasion by armed refugees. He urged that "the most sophisticated and effective weapons that man could devise" be adopted.



    Fortress Australia, to be screened on ABC on Thursday, draws on previously secret documents and rare film, including some bizarre footage taken in 1963 of a simulated nuclear test in North Queensland.

    Wayne Reynolds, of Newcastle University, wrote last year in Australia's Bid for the Atom Bomb that Australia had hoped to secure nuclear weapons through the United States or Britain, but the big powers agreed to limit their proliferation. Dr Reynolds said "Australia's Manhattan Program" would have resulted in an Australian reactor producing weapons-grade plutonium

    would have resulted in an Australian reactor producing weapons-grade plutonium.

    The documentary reveals Baxter wanted Britain to fund a nuclear reactor close to the Mary Kathleen uranium mine, in north-west Queensland. In 1965, Menzies asked the Atomic Energy Commission to advise on the cost of producing
    nuclear weapons. Baxter thought 30 could be produced in a year.



    In 1966, the prime minister, Harold Holt, thought Australia should be as nuclear self-sufficient as possible. In 1967, Baxter sought to restrict uranium sales to Britain so that Australia could produce its own bombs.

    Gorton was sworn in as Britain was withdrawing from Asia. He refused to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty in 1968 and pushed for the power station at Jervis Bay.



    Dr Ross, an assistant to cabinet secretary Sir John Bunting in 1971, said: "We couldn't work out why the government wanted a power station in Jervis Bay. It didn't make sense as an energy source."

    After succeeding Gorton as prime minister, Billy McMahon scrapped the station. Australia signed the treaty. By the mid-1980s, it was a leader in the nuclear
    disarmament campaign.



    https://www.smh.com.au/national/how-...17-gdfju2.html

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Excellent post Gordon... many thanks.

    Alastair

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    This quite a large PDF file but it worth reading in its entirety....................below are a couple of paragraphs from it plus the link


    INTERLUDE—ON RADIATION, SAFETY AND SECRECY
    The Navy requires information on the effects of various types of atomic
    explosions on ships and their contents and equipment … The Army must
    discover the detailed effects of various types of explosion on equipment,
    stores and men, with and without various types of protection.9
    A memo from the Royal Air Force (RAF), dated 29 November 1955,
    states:
    During the 1957 trials, the RAF will gain invaluable experience in
    handling the weapons and demonstrating at first hand the effects
    of nuclear explosions on personnel and equipment.10


    You will note in this segment of a large report that that the various services needed to know the effects of nuclear radiation on personnel.........both protected and unprotected!!!!


    Once again.....for those that are interested...............the full report is worth reading

    http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downlo...nterlude01.pdf


    As leading nuclear weapons campaigner Dr Tilman Ruff has noted:
    There has been a consistent trend over time that the more we know about
    radiation effects, the greater the evidence indicates those effects to be.
    Maximum permitted radiation dose limits have never been raised over
    time; they have always been lowered. For example, from 1950 to 1991,
    the maximum recommended whole-body radiation annual dose limits for
    radiation industry workers declined from approximately 250 to 20 mSv.19
    In the 1950s, however, there was already extensive knowledge about the
    hazards of radiation amongst the scientific community who worked at
    the AWRE at Aldermaston. The understanding of risk was based on the
    work of British physicists and biologists over decades, studies conducted
    on Japanese people affected by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    and more recent information from US nuclear testing in the Marshall
    Islands, which was shared with Britain.
    This information was also transmitted to British politicians and officials,
    who nonetheless went out of their way to minimise public knowledge of
    the risks, and adopted policies that deliberately reduced the safety margins
    for affected groups.



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