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Australian Institute of International Affairs - NSW

"Fact or Fission - the truth about Australia's nuclear ambitions" - Book Launch

Tue, 28 Jun 2022
18:30 - 19:30



Australians have been involved in nuclear matters ever since the atom was split. Marc Oliphant worked with Ernest Rutherford in Britain on nuclear physics, then joined the US wartime Manhattan Project to build the world’s first atom bomb. Foreign Minister Bert Evatt was the first president of the UN Atomic Energy Commission in 1946, a body set up ‘to deal with the problems raised buy the discovery of atomic energy.’


But Australians in general have always been in two minds about nuclear technology. It is OK to sell uranium to world markets provided our atoms are only used to generate electricity. It is not OK to construct nuclear reactors in Australia. It was OK during the Cold War to consider getting our own nuclear weapons, but not OK even to consider acquiring them at the Cold War’s end. It is now OK for Australia to be the first non-nuclear weapons state to acquire nuclear-propelled submarines. But it is not OK to arm them with their natural accompaniment - nuclear ballistic missiles.

In this analysis , Richard Broinowski will consider the implications and contradictions of the AUKUS agreement of September 2021, through which Australia is to receive at some future time a range of sophisticated British or American weapons systems, including nuclear-powered submarines.


Richard Broinowski was a senior Australian diplomat who served in Tokyo, Rangoon, Tehran and Manila before becoming Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, South Korea and Mexico. He was also General Manager of Radio Australia, and on retirement an adjunct professor at the university of Canberra and then Sydney University. He was president of AIIA NSW from 2014 to 2018. Richard has written a number of books, including Fact or Fission (Scribe 2003, new edition 2022), and Fallout from Fukushima (Scribe 2012).   




We will have space for a limited number of participants in-person at the Glover Cottages, tickets to be pre-paid (all in-person attendees must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or hold a valid exemption). Once the limit for in-person attendees is reached, tickets will no longer be sold on the website or at the door. 

Refreshments will be served from 6pm at Glover Cottages.

This event will also be streamed online via Zoom. Register by clicking the "get tickets" button below. Once you have registered, you will receive a follow-up confirmation email on the day of the event (Tuesday, June 28) containing details of the Zoom link and how to join the event.

The event will start at 6.30pm AEST (Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne time), Tuesday June 28.


Copies of the book will be available on the night at Glover Cottages.  For online participants who wish to buy a copy,  please click here


 For further information please email  nswexec@internationalaffairs.org.au


Photo by Daniel Bernard


Ticket Type Price
Online entries - Zoom (unpaid) Zoom $0.00 Sale Ended
Online entries - Zoom (paid) This ticket is for those joining by Zoom who wish to make a voluntary $5 contribution to the Australian Institute of International Affairs NSW to assist the organisation with running expenses during COVID-19. $5.00 Sale Ended
In-person AIIA NSW Members Individual Regular Member $15.00 Sale Ended
In-person AIIA NSW Senior Members Senior Members $10.00 Sale Ended
In-person AIIA NSW Student Members Student Member $10.00 Sale Ended
In-person Non-members Non-members $25.00 Sale Ended
In-person Senior/Student Non-members Senior/Student Non-members $15.00 Sale Ended
Glover Cottages
124-134 Kent St, Millers Point NSW 2000, Australia

Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, Australia