Australian news, and some related international items

How much will Australia’s nuclear submarines cost the taxpayer?

How much does a nuclear submarine cost?
Jessica Yun
Fri, 17 September 2021 
Is the new ‘AUKUS’ alliance to build Australia a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines battles growing criticism, a key question has emerged: how much do nuclear submarines actually cost?Before we get to that, what’s a nuclear submarine? It’s not considered a nuclear weapon, first of all. It all comes down to how it’s powered; a nuclear submarine works from its own miniature nuclear reactor, whereas conventional submarines use diesel-electric engines.In terms of how much they’ll cost, not even the Federal Finance Minister knows.

“Finalisation of those costs is something that will be assessed in [that] 12-18 month process we’re now embarking on with the UK and the US,” Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told ABC Radio National when asked about how much building the submarines would cost.

“The Prime Minister has acknowledged that it will likely cost more than what we had assessed for the conventionally powered submarines.”

Before the new AUKUS deal, Australia had a $90 billion contract with France to build 12 conventional submarines. To make way for the new defence pact, that deal has now been scrapped.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has taken aim at the question marks around what this will cost Australian taxpayers.

“We know there are contracts in place already that will be breached. And we know there will be substantial compensation costs payable,” Albanese said. These ‘walk-away’ costs are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions.

“And Australian taxpayers are entitled to know, given that under this Government they began with arrangements with Japan, then arrangements with France, and now we have these arrangements with the United States and potentially the UK as well.”

What DO we know about the nuclear submarine deal and the costs so far?

T he new ‘AUKUS’ partnership will see Australia acquire a fleet of “at least eight” nuclear-powered submarines to “protect our national security interests” and “work with our partners across the region to achieve the stability and security of our region”, in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s words………the new AUKUS deal means that we’ve torn up a $90 billion contract with France’s Naval Group to build 12 “Attack class” submarines, infuriating France along the way.

How much nuclear submarines cost around the world

The US Navy’s latest submarine model, the Virgina-class submarine, claims to have the latest tech in stealth, intelligence gathering and weapons system tech.

According to documents prepared for the US Congress, procuring a Virgina-class submarine is estimated to cost US$3.45 billion, or AU$4.73 billion, per boat.

Australia doesn’t currently have a domestic nuclear industry. SA Senator Rex Patrick told Yahoo Finance he expects each submarine will cost at least $5 billion to build.

Australian National University research fellow and nuclear science expert AJ Mitchell said there would be an “eye-watering cost” to constructing these high-tech watercrafts.

“Each nuclear submarine typically costs several billion dollars to build, and requires a highly skilled workforce with expertise in nuclear science,” Mitchell wrote in a new piece for The Conversation………

September 20, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, weapons and war

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