The renewed debate about Australia enriching uranium raises issues associated with a previous attempt thirty-five years ago. The Atomic Energy Commission hatched plans in the mid-1960s to position Australia as a supplier of enriched fuel, especially to the Japanese market. This would be done using centrifuge technology, a cheaper and more efficient method than that used by the United States. That fact, along with concerns in Washington to restrict the proliferation of nuclear weapons, led to opposition to rival enrichment programs. Whitlam and Connor miscalculated here. Ratifying the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty was not enough to stay opposition to raising a loan designed mainly to give Australia an enrichment program.
Australian Journal of Politics and History Vol. 54, Issue 4, p. 562-578