• Offered by School of Regulation and Global Governance
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject RegNet
  • Areas of interest Law, Social Research, Strategic Studies, Nuclear Physics
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Veronica Taylor
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Autumn Session 2024
    See Future Offerings

Responsible management of Australia's nuclear capabilities is a complex regulatory problem. Australia exports, but does not enrich, uranium; it uses nuclear technology for scientific and medical purposes, but not for power generation; it is globally ranked as a leading exponent of nuclear safeguards but is also a partner in AUKUS -- the 2021 agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States to share defence technologies and know-how. Amongst other things, this commits Australia to developing a nuclear-propelled submarine fleet. To do this, Australia must manage the life-cycle of multiple mobile reactors, their fuel and their environments. AUKUS makes Australia unique, as the first non-nuclear power to adopt nuclear technology for non-peaceful purposes. This course unpacks the multi-layered, multi-actor landscape of Australia's nuclear capabilities at the domestic, multilateral and international level. It examines the legal and regulatory frameworks and institutions for managing civilian and military applications; the risks that attach to civilian and military applications of nuclear materials and how these risks are managed; the regulatory culture of nuclear technologies and the organisations responsible for them; and how current and future domestic frameworks connect to Australia's transnational and global obligations.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Identify and understand core elements, stages and types of risk in the nuclear fuel cycle
  2. Describe the key state and non-state regulatory actors in Australia, their enabling legislation and regulatory tools including ASNO (Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office); ARWA (Australian Radioactive Waste Agency), ARPANSA (Australian Radioactive Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) and the ACT Radiation Council and its equivalents and the organisations to which they apply these
  3. Analyse core concepts in the international nuclear safeguards regime, Australia's relationship with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and how concepts such as nuclear stewardship are understood within and outside Australia
  4. Be able to contribute to informed debate about regulatory challenges likely to emerge in Australia and within the Indo-Pacific region as nuclear capabilities are applied for defence purposes
  5. Craft succinct and well-argued writing that synthesizes scientific evidence, regulatory theory, legal requirements and an understanding of organizational cultures and practice in relation nuclear materials.

Other Information

Risk-based regulation developed in response to nuclear technology. Technologies with complex multigenerational effects, civilian and military applications, and human and non-human oversight need robust regulation and governance. Regulating Nuclear Capabilities applies interdisciplinary insights to questions of how to manage risk, build 'smart' regulation and earn social trust for a technology that is both contested and consequential for Australia and its region.

Indicative Assessment

  1. In class participation (10) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Electronic submission of two questions for each session, submitted prior to class (10) [LO 4]
  3. Leading one in-class informal discussion or formal debate, including a 1000-word pr├ęcis of relevant reading(s)
    (30) [LO 3,4]
  4. Research and writing outline for an essay or scholarly blog post - 1000 words (20) [LO 4]
  5. Essay or scholarly blog post - 3000 words (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


This course requires 30 contact hours and 130 hours workload in total

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

No prescribed texts

Preliminary Reading

Clarke M and Frueling S, Australia's Nuclear Policy: Reconciling Strategic, Economic and Normative Interests (Routledge, 2019)

House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy (2019) Not Without Your Approval: a way forward for nuclear technology in Australia (Report of the inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia)

OECD and Nuclear Energy Agency (2007) Nuclear Legislation in OECD and NEA Countries: Australia

Parliament of Victoria, Legislative Council (2020) Inquiry into Nuclear Prohibition

Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report (2016)


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
On Campus
5451 08 Apr 2024 19 Apr 2024 19 Apr 2024 31 May 2024 In Person View
5457 08 Apr 2024 19 Apr 2024 19 Apr 2024 31 May 2024 Online View

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