Energy: Nuclear warning sparks meltdown, Mail and Guardian (Africa) 26 APR 2013 00:00 – LIONEL FAULL A major policy clash over the biggest spending plan in SA’s history has erupted between the national planning commission and the energy department. The trillion-rand plan to build a fleet of new nuclear power stations is not only costlier than expected, but may be entirely unnecessary, according to the research initiated by the commission.
It also warned that the department’s commitment to a massive nuclear push could ratchet electricity prices up by as much as 12% compared with alternative scenarios Read more »
Study pours cold water on South Africa’s nuclear build plan BUSNESS DAY LIVE, BY CAROL PATON, 19 APRIL 2013, NEW National Planning Commission (NPC) modelling of South Africa’s energy demands says nuclear power should be delayed by years, and an immediate commissioning of new gas-generation capacity should take place to avoid rolling blackouts in the near future.
The remodelling commissioned by the NPC signals the start in earnest of what will be a highly contested policy debate: whether South Africa needs and can afford nuclear power or not, and by when.
The implication of the modelling is that no new nuclear power would be required before at least 2029, but more likely as far away as 2040 if demand grows as expected. Read more »
No clear path to ambitious nuclear goal. Mail & Guardian, Africa 01 MAR 2013 LYNLEY DONNELLY,,,,,,,Eskom, which the state named as owner and operator for the proposed nuclear programme, is being hampered by labour strife at the construction site of the new Medupi coal-fired power station. Strikes are threatening the delivery time of Medupi, which was expected to bring its first unit online later this year.
Guenon also expressed misgivings about the government’s ambitious localisation plans for the nuclear programme. It would be very difficult to meet high localisation levels, if government opted to build one nuclear plant given the stringent certification and regulatory requirements vendors, suppliers and other companies involved in the nuclear industry were required to meet; as well as the need for qualified labour, particularly technicians and artisans……
It is estimated that the procurement and construction of the six new power stations envisaged will cost between R400-billion and R1-trillion. …..
the very high capital costs of nuclear procurement is a concern for policymakers. The national planning commission has called for the nuclear programme to be reviewed to ensure its financial feasibility……
key to the success of a nuclear programme, particularly one that ensured successful localisation, was the issue of affordability. The minister of finance would not sign off on something that the country’s balance sheet could not sustain,..http://mg.co.za/article/2013-03-01-00-no-clear-path-to-ambitious-nuclear-goal
South Africa’s new nuclear challenges, Mail and Guardian Africa 15 FEB 2013 LYNLEY DONNELLY South African authorities will have to address two critical issues as the country faces signing for its new nuclear procurement megaplan. Funding and human resources capacity are two of the biggest challenges confronting any country embarking on a nuclear energy programme, according to Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
These are two critical issues that South African authorities will have to address as the country faces signing on the dotted line for its new nuclear procurement megaplan for six nuclear power stations by 2030. Funding was a “difficult issue” for the nuclear industry everywhere, said Amano, who was on a brief tour of South Africa last week…… Read more »
Exiting the nuclear club
world believes that Iran, despite its denials, is trying to join the
handful of nations around the world that possess nuclear weapons.
There has been just one exception.
Just as Nelson Mandela was emerging from prison over 20 years ago to
lead South Africa out of the wilderness of racial hatred, his country
was in the midst of another change that could be a model for the rest
of the world.
By 1991, the Rainbow Nation had become the only country to dismantle
and destroy its own nuclear arsenal. That decision, along with the end
of apartheid, helped restore South Africa’s international legitimacy.
It also made the country a leading voice for nuclear sanity.
Today, South Africa’s weapons-grade uranium left over from the
apartheid era is being turned into medical isotopes that can detect
cancer and other diseases.
Swords into plowshares.
What happens when government plans to build a nuclear plant in your
hometown? Lionel Faull went to the Eastern Cape to find out.The
process of rolling out a massive nuclear power expansion programme
gained momentum in November when the Cabinet endorsed electricity
utility Eskom as the owner and operator of the proposed new nuclear
power stations. But the plan still faces an uphill public battle, not
least from the people in whose back yard the first new nuclear
behemoth is going to be carved out.
The Mail & Guardian went to Thyspunt in the Eastern Cape, where Eskom
is finalising the environmental plan for its preferred site, to hear
what locals have to say about living next door to nukes……. Read more »
Do we really need a nuclear fleet?, Business Report, Mike Kantey, November 25 2012 Despite protestations by thousands of South Africans, our ANC-led government seems determined to spend over R1 trillion on a nuclear fleet, including a uranium enrichment plant, a fuel assembly plant, a reprocessing plant and a high-level waste management facility.
How has this impossibly expensive project been motivated and by whom? Read more »
Russian nuclear group opens office in South Africa Engineering News, By: Keith Campbell 18th July 2012 South Africa has become only the third country to host a marketing office of Russia’s State-owned nuclear energy group Rosatom. The registration of the office was announced by the group on Wednesday….. Rusatom (spelt with a u) Overseas is a subsidiary of Rosatom (spelt with an o).
Another Rosatom subsidiary, Tenex, already supplies enriched uranium products for the production of nuclear fuel for South Africa. The country currently has one two-reactor NPP, at Koeberg near Cape Town, which has a capacity of 1 800 MWe. This started operation in 1984… http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/russian-nuclear-group-opens-office-in-south-africa-2012-07-18
SA lags in nuclear security http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2012/07/12/sa-lags-in-nuclear-security Graeme Hosken | 12 July, 2012 A new report co-authored by a senior
Harvard academic has shed light on some of the security vulnerabilities of South Africa’s nuclear facilities.
Co-written by Harvard University associate professor and nuclear security specialist Matthew Bunn, Progress on Securing Nuclear Weapons and Materials: The Four-Year Effort and Beyond, examines nuclear-material security globally.
It reveals that, though South Africa has completed substantial security upgrades at its Pelindaba nuclear facility, and implemented regulations requiring the protection of nuclear sites against threats, these have yet to be formally enforced.
The report states that South Africa has not committed itself to eliminating hundreds of kilograms of weapons-grade highly enriched uranium.
It has yet to ratify an amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. The amendment is aimed at improving the physical protection of nuclear material and facilities, and reducing the vulnerability of states to the theft of nuclear material and to nuclear terrorism.
Renewable energy ‘getting cheaper’ Business Report, By Londiwe Buthelezi. May 22 2012 The cost of renewable energy for South African businesses and homes is coming down. Projects chosen in the second bidding window of the renewable energy independent power producers (IPP) programme would offer power at lower prices, the Department of Energy announced yesterday. Read more »
The government’s pretence that there is a bidding war between nuclear power providers is also unconvincing. Companies from the US, South Korea and Russia have given up and a joint French-Chinese bid is the only game in town.
Nuclear drive more about foreign policy than energy, ANTHONY BUTLER: http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=171008 State’s campaign to win public support for proposed nuclear power programme hampered by logic and chronology 2012/05/04 THE government’s belated campaign to win public support for its proposed nuclear power programme has been hampered by logic and chronology. Read more »
The only conclusion is that there is an immense amount of money in the nuclear industry for those involved and in power. They will reap the financial benefits, not the majority of South Africans. This will exacerbate the poverty-wealth gap.
Nuclear power will worsen the wealth gap Bishop Geoff Davies:Mail & Guardian, Apr 20 2012 ”…..In the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute, we believe we have to apply moral principles of justice and equity when making energy choices. We made this call at the COP17 climate talks in Durban in our Act Now for Climate Justice campaign — that is, justice for people and planet. ….
We are deeply concerned about the government’s nuclear plans because it is the wrong direction to take. Nuclear energy requires a centralised grid system and is extremely costly. Taking into account the mining of uranium, its transport and the construction of power plants, nuclear energy is certainly neither carbon-neutral nor ”clean”. Read more »
the Japanese taxpayer is liable for losses caused by the nuclear meltdown. The fall out in Japan has cost an estimated 500 to 600 billion dollars according to Greenpeace.
Adam says clauses in South African law limit the liability nuclear power plants pay if a disaster occurs. If a disaster happens in South Africa “the ordinary citizen will be paying for a clean-up,” says Adam.
Greenpeace launches anti-nuclear energy campaign, Times Live, Pearl Boshomane and Katharine Child | 28 February, 2012 Environmental activist organisation Greenpeace has launched a campaign urging the government to abandon the move towards using nuclear energy in South Africa. This comes on the heels of an announcement by Energy minister Dipuo Peters on Tuesday that the government will allocate more funds — R300 billion– towards nuclear power plant construction
Also on Tuesday, Greenpeace released the ‘Lessons from Fukushima’ report, which states that the Japanese nuclear disaster of last year was a result of governmental and nuclear industry failures as opposed to a natural disaster. Read more »
“Strangely, neither President [Jacob Zuma] nor the minister of finance saw fit to mention the largest-ever procurement in South African history in the state-of-the-nation address or the Budget speech.
Greyling said there had also been no opportunity for the public to scrutinise a nuclear programme.
R300bn for nuclear plants not ‘end amount’ News 24, 2012-02-28 Cape Town - The R300bn allocated in the Budget for building new nuclear power plants is not the final amount for the project, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Tuesday. Read more »
R300bn nuclear tender shouldn’t be sneaked through - DA, Politics web, 26 February 2012 Lance Greyling says nuclear build programme must be properly scrutinised in parliament Nuclear Build Programme must be debated in Parliament In the budget review for 2012, a price tag of R300 billion appears for Eskom’s nuclear fleet build programme. The programme is designed to deliver 9,600MW of nuclear capacity by 2029 and is described as being in the “final stages of consideration before financial proposals can be determined”
This is all rather curious.
The President did not mention the R300 billion nuclear build programme in his State of the Nation Address. The Minister of Finance did not mention it explicitly in his Budget Speech. Now, apparently, it is in its “final stages”.
There has been no debate in Parliament and no opportunity for the public to scrutinise a nuclear programme that could have a very real impact on all of our lives. Not only will it cost nearly a third of our annual budget, but there are serious safety and environmental concerns to consider.
Given that the shadow of Arms Deal corruption continues to darken our democracy, government should be extra careful about the nuclear build programme. It must err on the side of more transparency, not less. For this reason, the DA will table a motion to debate the nuclear build programme in Parliament at the first opportunity.
From a technical point of view, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Feasibility study for the programme should be in the public domain before any project of this magnitude is seriously considered. If a specific amount has already been allocated in the budget, the public has a right to see the evidence on which the budgetary allocation was decided…. http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=282389&sn=Detail&pid=71616
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