I understand the people of Wollongong are apprehensive about the prospects of nuclear submarines being housed at Port Kembla. So it would be worth considering the role of the nuclear subs in the national interest. The purpose of submarines with missile firing capacity is to deter an aggressor. If an aggressor doesn't know where a retaliatory attack will come from, they are less likely to engage in a first-strike attack. For example, given Australia would have 3 major targets; Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, an attack on these targets under current conditions would likely result in an inability of Australia to respond (second-strike attack).
But, with submarines that have a retaliatory attack capability, an aggressor would be forced to carefully consider if an attack is worth the potential cost to their nation. I believe given the centralisation of the Australian population, having missile-capable subs will make Australia and the citizens of Wollongong safer through active deterrence of countries engaging in conflict with Australia.
Greg Adamson, Griffith
I don't understand how politicians who could not foresee and prepare for problems that face Australians in the present are blithely confident that they know how wars of the future will be fought and what weaponry will be needed in 30 years time. They clearly haven't been able to prepare for such things as the need for Australian tax reform, health and aged care, the teacher shortage, the housing shortage and the cost of living crisis and other problems that we all face at this very time.
To involve Australia in AUKUS, at huge cost, because of problems that may emerge in 30 years time is either based on a delusional view that enmeshing Australia in a possible future conflict between America and China is in our interests or a devious political ploy to attract support which neither major political party is now prepared to risk backing away from. I won't be around to see what happens but we are certainly not doing Australia's future generations any favours.
John Martin, Woonona
Response to the letter "Nuclear reactor dangers" (Mercury, March 21). The Lucas Heights nuclear reactor is used for the development and advancement of "nuclear medicine" for x-rays and specific treatment for patients after procedures or operations.
Dredging up serious nuclear accidents of the past to scare people about modern nuclear reactors is not justified. Those submarines powered by small modular reactors have enormous benefits. If Australia does not have significant up-to-date military weapons to deter a potential threat or possible attack, what are we supposed to do?
Adrian Devlin, Fairy Meadow
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