Royal Australian Navy Submarines to go Nuclear

My first employer built radars for fast jets; had a reputation for running late, but delighting the user (RN/RAF) rather than the customer (MoD Procurement) - in contrast to our main competitor, who met every requirement of the customer, while leaving the user unimpressed ("but it's what you asked for").

At the start of the 90s, our mob won the contract for the Typhoon radar. Fairly soon afterwards, we had the International Air Forces Field Team arrive on site; regular service personnel from RAF and Luftwaffe [1], mostly SNCOs, employed to work on site next to the engineers designing the new kit (we may have poached one or two of them onto the design teams).

[1] The Luftwaffe engineer bloke had "GAF" on his ID Card. When asked "What does that stand for", he answered "German Air Force - we weren't sure that you would understand Luftwaffe". At which point there were smiles, as people pointed out the air raid shelters still lined up next to the front gate...
You mentioned the war? Did you get away with it?
 
Is it? I thought it was up in NT at Robertson Barracks. There is a "tank" outside RAAF Edinburgh on the opposite side of the road from the shiny P3 but I thought it was one of the old Abrams ones. I'll check when I go to work and get back to you....
Apologies for the delay, it took. me a while ot find somneone who "knows".

The big tracked green thing outside the fence at RAAF Edinburgh is a Leopard 1. Inside the fence, beside one of the parade grounds, is a Leopard 1 on one side and the aforementioned Centurion complete with plaque telling the story.
 
Woomera is an interesting place, I've worked with a number of people who have been up there on equipment trials.

There are a couple of good books on the bomb tests and the subsequent "clean up", one by Alan Parkinson on the botched clean up that he was working on in the late 90's. At one part of the book he made reference to radioactive bits and pieces that were collected together and taken to Woomera for disposal. A number of rectangular pits were dug north of the airfield, and all the radioactive stuff dumnped in there and covered with sand. Two massive electrodes were then placed in the pit and an electrical current run through the electrodes to effectively convert the sand to glass and encapsulate the radioactive stuff. If you look at Google earth you can still see some suspicipous looking rectangles that don't appear to be related to any works or old buildings.

P.S. if you have timne to spend, google "Maralinga" on google earth and follow some of the roads North East out of the camp. Look for the areas which are much lighter than the surrounding earth, those were the bombs sites.
 
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Woomera is an interesting place, I've worked with a number of people who have been up there on equipment trials.

There are a couple of good books on the bomb tests and the subsequent "clean up", one by Alan Parkinson on the botched clean up that he was working on in the late 90's. At one part of the book he made reference to radioactive bits and pieces that were collected together and taken to Woomera for disposal. A number of rectangular pits were dug north of the airfield, and all the radioactive stuff dumnped in there and covered with sand. Two massive electrodes were then placed in the pit and an electrical current run through the electrodes to effectively convert the sand to glass and encapsulate the radioactive stuff. If you look at Google earth you can still see some suspicipous looking rectangles that don't appear to be related to any works or old buildings.

P.S. if you have timne to spend, google "Maralinga" on google earth and follow some of the roads North East out of the camp. Look for the areas which are much lighter than the surrounding earth, those were the bombs sites.
Already found some interesting sites around there.


In all honesty, I wouldn't mind visiting there. Same as the New Mexico bomb sites in the US.
 
Already found some interesting sites around there.


In all honesty, I wouldn't mind visiting there. Same as the New Mexico bomb sites in the US.
You can get a guided tour around part of the Woomera site, the last time I looked though you needed a minimum number on the party. I don't think it got as far as Emu field though because that is hours away.
 
Already found some interesting sites around there.


In all honesty, I wouldn't mind visiting there. Same as the New Mexico bomb sites in the US.
There was a fascinating talk on Radio 4 a few months back about how to indicate in hundreds, indeed thousands of years time, that there are high and low level waste sites that must not be breached. Symbology of signs change over time (quite apart from the survivability of signage), language changes, records are lost. One suggestion was to create a religious brotherhood, "The Guardians" or some such, to maintain the narrative. The speakers pointed out the long-term durability of religious stories and prohibitions.
 

Yokel

LE
Back to AUKUS and submarines: AUKUS nations sign naval nuclear propulsion information-sharing agreement

AUKUS partners Australia, the UK and the US have signed an ‘Exchange of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information Agreement’, progressing Canberra’s plans to build conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

The agreement will progress consultations, allowing the UK and US to exchange sensitive and classified nuclear propulsion information with Australia.

It will also provide a mechanism for Australian personnel to access training from US and UK counterparts to safely build, operate, and support nuclear-powered boats.

Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said: ‘This Agreement will support Australia in completing the 18 months of intensive and comprehensive examination of the requirements underpinning the delivery of nuclear-powered submarines,’

The Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties will consider the agreement and subject to domestic processes in the UK and US.

The announcement of the AUKUS agreement on 15 September shocked the world and came with the cancellation of Australia’s previous plans to buy 12 diesel-electric submarines from France’s Naval Group.

During an 18-month concept phase, the AUKUS trio will hammer out the future Australian nuclear submarine requirements.
 

Yokel

LE
[drift]


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Is Brazil being aided by anyone else in developing their naval nuclear propulsion? I vaguely recall that France was involved, and that this was why French naval reactors use fuel with low level of enrichment due to proliferation issues.

Brazil does have a small nuclear industry.
 
Is Brazil being aided by anyone else in developing their naval nuclear propulsion? I vaguely recall that France was involved, and that this was why French naval reactors use fuel with low level of enrichment due to proliferation issues.

Brazil does have a small nuclear industry.
The Brazilian submarine design is based on an enlarged version of the French Scorpène diesel-electric boats, but the reactor is a Brazilian design. They also have their own nuclear enrichment facilities using their own centrifuges.
 
Perhaps this is why it was a good idea to remove the Australian nuclear submarine contract from France,


As can be expected, Macron is sucking up to the Chinese. What secrets from the nuclear subs would the French be willing to divulge to Beijing on order to curry favour with Xi?.
 

Yokel

LE
Perhaps this is why it was a good idea to remove the Australian nuclear submarine contract from France,


As can be expected, Macron is sucking up to the Chinese. What secrets from the nuclear subs would the French be willing to divulge to Beijing on order to curry favour with Xi?.

But the submarine contract with France was not nuclear. It was to use the design for nuclear boats and to replace the reactor with non nuclear propulsion - which of course implied technical risk. As for your question, I cannot see the French defence establishment and intelligence services allowing any sensitive information to be shared.
 

HE117

LE
But the submarine contract with France was not nuclear. It was to use the design for nuclear boats and to replace the reactor with non nuclear propulsion - which of course implied technical risk. As for your question, I cannot see the French defence establishment and intelligence services allowing any sensitive information to be shared.
...perhaps a new white stick is called for?

Never underestimate the potential for the French defence community to:

1. (Try to) make a profit.
2. Put the "interests of France" (interpreted in whatever way is convenient) before anything else.

Having witnessed the emptying of Saddam's bunkers, the prevalence of high tech French weapons was very noticeable..!
 
...perhaps a new white stick is called for?

Never underestimate the potential for the French defence community to:

1. (Try to) make a profit.
2. Put the "interests of France" (interpreted in whatever way is convenient) before anything else.

Having witnessed the emptying of Saddam's bunkers, the prevalence of high tech French weapons was very noticeable..!
To be honest I would swap those over and put the ”interests of France” at number 1 to 10 and if a little bit of profit is made on the way all the better.
 

Yokel

LE
...perhaps a new white stick is called for?

Never underestimate the potential for the French defence community to:

1. (Try to) make a profit.
2. Put the "interests of France" (interpreted in whatever way is convenient) before anything else.

Having witnessed the emptying of Saddam's bunkers, the prevalence of high tech French weapons was very noticeable..!

I know, but do the French export their most sensitive technologies to everyone? I am thinking of things such as quietening technologies and techniques. France depends on submarines for their nuclear deterrent, and have interests in the Pacific region which may bring them into direct competition with Beijing.
 

HE117

LE
I know, but do the French export their most sensitive technologies to everyone? I am thinking of things such as quietening technologies and techniques. France depends on submarines for their nuclear deterrent, and have interests in the Pacific region which may bring them into direct competition with Beijing.
...who knows?

The French amaze me at times, and seem to be even worse that us at managing technology transfer..

Their history is littered with examples of where technological advantage has been abandoned by their bureaucracy for the most inane of reasons..
 
I know, but do the French export their most sensitive technologies to everyone? I am thinking of things such as quietening technologies and techniques. France depends on submarines for their nuclear deterrent, and have interests in the Pacific region which may bring them into direct competition with Beijing.
Yeah, but it's not like the french are ever going to fight is it.
 

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