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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

South Africa, with excellent renewable resources, does not need expensive, dirty, nuclear power

Nuclear energy development under the spotlight http://bereamail.co.za/114003/nuclear-energy-development-under-the-spotlight/, 1 July 17 

“The money planned to build the power stations can be used to improve our ailing education system.” THE jury is still out on why a country like South Africa, rated number five on the world as best suitable for renewable energy, would want to build eight new nuclear power stations at cost of R1 trillion.

Should the 9,600MW of nuclear capacity project go ahead, it could be one of the world’s biggest nuclear contracts in decades. The South African Faith Communities Environmental Institute (SAFCEI) and the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SADCEA) held a Nuclear Court Case Feedback workshop, at Diakonia on Friday, following their landmark victory at the Western Cape High Court, which saw government’s notorious nuclear deal agreements with Russia, the United States and South Korea set aside and declared unlawful and unconstitutional.

According to Lydia Mogano, who is Safcei’s regional coordinator, a nuclear energy development in South Africa will have negative socio-economic and environmental implications on ordinary citizens.

“Electricity tariffs are already high, with residents paying close to R1.50 per unit, but with nuclear energy they will pay R1.80 and above, making it even more difficult for them survive. Even the government’s own research done by the CSIR, shows that we do not need nuclear at all and renewable energy will be much cheaper. Nuclear energy demand is on the decline across the world, it takes 10 to 15 years to build a nuclear power station. Research done by CSIR shows that solar provides 70 percent of energy globally,” Mogano said.

Despite critics saying the country does not have the money, necessary skills to procure, build, operate, maintain and regulate six new nuclear power stations, Presient Jacob Zuma, addressing Parliament last month, said government still intended to pursue the acquisition of nuclear power stations at a “pace and scale” that the country could afford. He further added that building nuclear power stations would “bring dividends and profits for many thousands of years to come.”

However, Mogano said funds planned to build the power stations could be used to improve our ailing education system, the backlog of houses millions of people still needed houses and improvements could be made to the country’s water and sanitation systems.

Legal representative for Safcei and Earthlife, Adrian Pole, who was also in attendance said: “Transparency in the nuclear procurement process, including access to cost estimates and feasibility studies, has been at the heart of this case. Public participation without that kind of information being made available would render it, in itself, unfair.”

Environmental activist Desmond D’sa said should the nuclear energy development not go ahead, the R240 million that has already been spent on two years of research needs to be accounted for. According to industry executives, regulators and scientists with proper management, vigilance and safety enhancements, a nuclear power plants lifespan is 40-70 years and the decommission costs the same amount as when you build it.

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July 21, 2017 - Posted by | Legal, politics, South Africa

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