Tony Irwin

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Tony Irwin speaking at Australian Earth Sciences Convention 2016, Adelaide Tony Irwin speaking at Australian Earth Sciences Convention 2016, Adelaide.jpg
Tony Irwin speaking at Australian Earth Sciences Convention 2016, Adelaide

Tony Irwin is a nuclear engineer and technical director of Australian company, SMR Nuclear Technology. [1] [2] For three decades he worked commissioning and operating nuclear reactors in the UK for British Energy (formerly the Central Electricity Generating Board). He emigrated to Australia in 1999 and took a position with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), where he remained for ten years. Irwin chairs the Nuclear Engineering Panel of Engineers Australia and lectures at the Australian National University [3] and University of Sydney on nuclear science. [4] Irwin has a degree in electrical power engineering. [1]


Nuclear power advocacy

Irwin is an advocate for nuclear power in Australia and has recommended the deployment of small modular reactors, provided that legislation can be changed to allow for it. [5] In 2014 he told the media:

"Small modular reactors with their natural safety based on passive safety systems using gravity, natural circulation and pressurised tanks, represent a game-changer that is particularly suitable for Australian conditions." [6]

He has argued in Mining Australia that climate change should lead Australia to reconsider nuclear power as an alternative to burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. [7]

He has featured in media reports on nuclear technology and provided commentary to the Australian Science Media Centre in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. [8] He has given public presentations and lectures on SMRs [1] and nuclear power, including some at which opposing viewpoints were presented by anti-nuclear advocates such as Ian Lowe. [9]

In 2011 Irwin contributed a chapter on small modular reactors to Australia's nuclear options, a policy perspective document for the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. [4]


Irwin is a member of the Institution of Engineers Australia and of the UK Institution of Engineering and Technology, a fellow of the Australian Institute of Energy, and chairman of the Nuclear Engineering Panel of the Sydney division of Engineers Australia. [2] He is a member of ARPANSA's Nuclear Safety Committee. [10]

Related Research Articles

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Stephen Lincoln is a chemistry and physics professor at the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute. His work in molecular science has resulted in over 300 publications in scientific journals and he is the author of Challenged Earth: An Overview of Humanity’s Stewardship of Earth (2006), a book in which he discusses population, water, food, biotechnology, health, energy, climate change and the ozone layer. He has a long-term interest in nuclear power and is a board member and spokesperson for South Australian Nuclear Energy Systems, a private Australian company established in 2014 to explore the feasibility of nuclear industrial development projects in South Australia. Lincoln has been a media spokesperson on nuclear issues in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and in the lead up to South Australia's Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission in 2015. His work has been awarded by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and UNESCO.

Benjamin "Ben" Heard is a South Australian environmental consultant and an advocate for nuclear power in Australia, through his directorship of environmental NGO, Bright New World.

Dr Ian Duncan is a businessman active in the Australian resources sector. He is a past president of operations at the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia under Western Mining Corporation. He was Chairman of the London-based Uranium Institute in 1995-1996. From the 1990s to the present, Duncan has advocated for nuclear industrial development in Australia, specifically the development of facilities to store and dispose of nuclear waste and the legalization and development of nuclear power plants for the generation of electricity. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology, Science and Engineering (ATSE), the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), and Engineers Australia.


  1. 1 2 3 "Small modular reactors - an option for Australia?". Issuu. Engineers Australia. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Management - Tony Irwin, Technical Director". SMR Nuclear Technology. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  3. Director, Energy Change Institute; (24 January 2017). "Honorary Associate Professor Tony Irwin". ECI. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  4. 1 2 Australia's nuclear options - CEDA policy perspective (PDF). Melbourne, Australia: CEDA. 2011. ISBN   0 85801 277 4.
  5. Pedley, Nick (5 December 2014). "Business groups want Government to 'get out of the way' of nuclear power". ABC News. ABC. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  6. Validakis, Vicky (26 November 2014). "Australia's nuclear energy future in the spotlight". Australian Mining. Cirrus Media. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  7. "Australia's nuclear energy future in the spotlight". Mining Australia. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  8. "Background Briefing: Fukushima - one year on". Australian Science Media Centre. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  9. "Nuclear Energy – the implications for Australia" (PDF). Engineers Australia. 15 July 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  10. (ARPANSA), Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency. "ARPANSA - Nuclear Safety Committee". Retrieved 27 October 2016.