Developing our own capability: Australia’s Nuclear Journey

Michael de Percy with Georgina Downer, Afternoon Light Podcast, Robert Menzies Institute

It was under Robert Menzies that Australia entered the nuclear age with the opening of the Lucas Heights Reactor in 1958. 65 years on, what looked to be the first step in a much bigger story remains practically the only step Australia has taken towards harnessing the potency of the atom to power our nation. As nuclear energy once again appears on the political radar, it is worth taking a look back and seeing what potential Australians once saw in nuclear and what could have been. 

In this week’s episode of the Afternoon Light podcast, Robert Menzies Institute CEO Georgina Downer talks to Dr Michael de Percy about how Menzies represents Australia’s unrealised nuclear potential. 

Dr Michael de Percy FRSA FCILT is Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Canberra. His qualifications include a PhD in Political Science from the Australian National University, a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) from the University of Canberra, and a Bachelor of Arts from Deakin University. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, where he received the Royal Australian Artillery prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and Vice-Chair of the ACT and Southern NSW Chapter, Vice President of the Telecommunications Association (TelSoc - Australia's oldest learned society), Public Policy Editor of the Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, and a member of the Australian Nuclear Association. He was appointed to the Australian Research Council's College of Experts in 2022.

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