I move amendment No. 1:
In page 6, between lines 10 and 11, to insert the following definition:
"‘nuclear explosive device' means any nuclear weapon or other explosive device capable of releasing nuclear energy, irrespective of the purpose for which it could be used, whether assembled or unassembled;".
This is a definition of a nuclear explosive device. This is important. It relates also to my own amendments because I am particularly concerned about the importation into this country, which has been clearly placed on the record of this House, of nuclear weapons. It is important, if one wants to inhibit this development, to give a definition of what a nuclear weapon actually is. The definition states:
"nuclear explosive device" means any nuclear weapon or other explosive device capable of releasing nuclear energy, irrespective of the purpose for which it could be used, whether assembled or unassembled.
Because the whole question of nuclear weapons is quite a technical area. I think it is worth looking at what actually is involved in a nuclear arsenal. A nuclear warhead has four principal components: there is the nuclear core, which is a central ball of lethally radioactive plutonium-239, combined with another substance called tritium, which is added to boost the plutonium's explosive power. This is also known as the capsulei, then there is the nuclear tamper. This is completely surrounding the central ball of plutonium and is a shell of second radioactive material, typically uranium-238 and it is known as the casing; the conventional explosive is the third element. There is an outer shell of non-nuclear explosive packed around the tamper as a triggering device. When exploded, it compresses the nuclear material of the tamper and the core into a critical mass, at which point the warhead detonates in a nuclear explosion; finally, there is the arming mechanism, which is an electronic switch which requires insertion of the correct 12-digit code sequence to activate the fuse of the conventional explosive surrounding the nuclear warhead.
There is another matter of concern I would like to draw to the attention of the House. Until the middle 1950s American nuclear warheads were designed in such a way that the core and the tamper, the first and second elements I read into the record of the House, were separated. Since then all warheads produced for the American armed forces have fully integrated design, whether in storage or transit. This means that whether in storage or transit they contain all the components necessary to generate a nuclear detonation. This is very serious and, as I say, it relates very directly to the amendments I have down subsequently and also to the amendments of Senator Brendan Ryan.
I see that my colleague from the Labour Party, Senator Upton, is here. I hope he does not think me very presumptuous for having jumped into the breach and moved his amendment, but I am sure he would be more competent to speak directly to this amendment himself. I will leave it at that, if I may.