Australia’s Nuclear Policy: Reconciling Strategic, Economic and Normative Interests critically re-evaluates Australia’s engagement with nuclear weapons, nuclear power and the nuclear fuel cycle since the dawn of the nuclear age.
The authors develop a holistic conception of ‘nuclear policy’ that extends across the three distinct but related spheres – strategic, economic and normative – that have arisen from the basic ‘dual-use’ dilemma of nuclear technology. Existing scholarship on Australia’s nuclear policy has generally grappled with each of these spheres in isolation. In a fresh evaluation of the field, the authors investigate the broader aims of Australian nuclear policy and detail how successive Australian governments have engaged with nuclear issues since 1945.
Through its holistic approach, the book demonstrates the logic of seemingly conflicting policy positions at the heart of Australian nuclear policy, including simultaneous reliance on US extended deterrence and the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. Such apparent contradictions highlight the complex relationships between different ends and means of nuclear policy. How successive Australian governments of different political shades have attempted to reconcile these in their nuclear policy over time is a central part of the history and future of Australia’s engagement with the nuclear fuel cycle.