Publication Details

Martin, B. (1980). Nuclear Knights. Canberra: Rupert Public Interest Movement.

Additional Publication Information

From the back cover: Sir Ernest Titterton and Sir Philip Baxter have been the most prolific public advocates of nuclear power in Australia. Nuclear Knights is a careful study of the pro-nuclear views of Sir Ernest and Sir Philip. Special emphasis is put on the assumptions underlying their views and on the links between their views and their professional positions. Nuclear Knights shows in detail why it is not always safe to trust the experts


Serious exploration for uranium in Australia began in response to the development of nuclear weapons during and after World War II. A number of mines were operated in the 1950s and 1960s, notably at Rum Jungle in the Northern Territory, under the control of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission (AAEC) which was established in 1953. Also aiding the British nuclear weapons programme were twelve nuclear weapons tests in Australia in the 1950s, at Monte Bello Islands off the northwest coast, and at Emu Field and Maralinga in South Australia. The AAEC constrl,Jcted two research reactors at Lucas Heights near Sydney, and built up a large technical and research staff. In October 1969 the then Prime Minister John Gorton announced plans for a 500MW nuclear power reactor at Jervis Bay. However, as a result of various developments and pressures, especially economic cost, the proposal was dropped within a few years5. The years 1972 and 1973 saw the first significant public debate over a nuclear-related issue, namely French nuclear tests in the Pacific.

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Rupert Public Interest Movement