Australia news live: government agrees to nuclear-powered submarine deal with US and UK – live updates

As a key project under Aukus, we are launching consultations with Australia with the acquisition of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines for its navy. Conventionally armed. I want to be exceedingly clear about this. We’re not talking about nuclear-armed submarines. These are conventionally armed submarines powered by nuclear reactors. This technology is proven and safe.

In the United States and UK, we have been operating nuclear-powered submarines for decades. I have asked Secretary Austin of the Department of Defence to lead this effort for the US government in close collaboration with the Department of Energy and the Department of State.

Our governments will now launch an 18-month consultation period to determine every element of this program, from workforce to training requirements, to production timelines, to safeguards and non-proliferation measures, and to nuclear stewardship and safety to ensure full compliance with each of our nation’ commitments under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

We’ll all undertake this effort in a way that reflects the longstanding leadership in global non-proliferation and vigorous verification standards, in partnership, in consultation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

So I want to thank the prime minister, prime minister Morrison and prime minister Johnson, for their friendship. But most importantly for their leadership and partnership as we undertake this new phase of the security cooperation.

And the United States will also continue to work with Asean and the Quad, as stated earlier. The five treaty allies in the Indo-Pacific, as well as allies around the world to have a free and open Indo-Pacific. And build a future of peace and prosperity for all of the people of the region. We’re joining together, where partnerships are getting stronger. This is what you’re about.

I want to thank you all and I look forward to seeing both of you in person very soon, I hope. Thank you.

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