nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

South Africa’s President Zuma now has a new (Nuclear) Energy Minister: David Mahlobo praises nuclear energy

New Energy Minister Mahlobo’s first words on his nuclear vision for SA, Fin 24, Oct 19 2017 Matthew le Cordeur , Cape Town – Incoming Energy Minister David Mahlobo on Thursday highlighted his vision for South Africa’s nuclear energy future, following the approval for Eskom to develop 4GW of new power stations near Koeberg last week.

Mahlobo is the third energy minister this year. Tina Joemat-Pettersson was axed in March after the nuclear programme was halted following a court ruling. Her successor, Mmamoloko Kubayi, was this week redeployed to the communications ministry, with speculation that President Jacob Zuma was not happy with her progress in restarting the nuclear procurement programme.

Critics and opposition parties have warned that Mahlobo’s appointment could be an attempt by Zuma to push through the nuclear deal, as the president’s leadership position hangs in the balance ahead of the ANC’s elective conference in December.

4GW of new nuclear next to Koeberg

His appointment comes as the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) last week authorised its Final Environmental Impact Report for the power station at Duynefontein, giving Eskom permission to develop a new nuclear plant next to the existing Koeberg power station.

Koeberg, based outside Cape Town, is Africa’s only nuclear power station and contributes 6%, or 1.8GW, to South Africa’s power grid.

Citing the outdated 2010 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which states that South Africa requires 9.6GW of nuclear energy before 2030, Mahlobo said the latest development forms part of a “policy decision to pursue nuclear energy as a baseload energy form to mitigate our carbon footprint”………..

Zuma’s nuclear minister?

Allegations that Mahlobo’s appointment is a desperate bid by Zuma to get the nuclear new build programme off the ground hinge on revelation that he accompanied Zuma (with Deputy International Relations Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo) on a state visit to Russia in 2014, where he met with Putin at his residence in Novo-Ogariovo. No aides, advisers or wives went along, creating a veil of secrecy.

It has been widely speculated that Zuma and Putin struck a deal on nuclear cooperation at this meeting, but no evidence has ever emerged to confirm this. Rosatom, Zuma and the Department of Energy have consistently denied such a deal.

Democratic Alliance energy spokesperson Gordon Mackay said South Africans should be deeply concerned. “This is the state securitisation of the energy department. It started under Kubayi and will be completed under Mahlobo.” http://www.fin24.com/Economy/new-energy-minister-mahlobos-first-words-on-his-nuclear-vision-for-sa-20171019

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October 20, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

South Africa: KICKBACKS, PROCUREMENT IRREGULARITIES AT ESKOM 

PARLY COMMITTEE HEARS OF KICKBACKS, PROCUREMENT IRREGULARITIES AT ESKOM http://ewn.co.za/2017/10/19/parly-committee-hears-of-kickbacks-procurement-irregularities-at-eskom Former Eskom employee Ted Blom sketched broad details about corruption at the parastatal, claiming there are up to a thousand cases, many of them unreported. Rahima Essop , 19 Oct 17  CAPE TOWN – Parliament’s probe into state capture at Eskom has been told about a culture of kickbacks and large-scale procurement irregularities at the parastatal.

Former Eskom employee and self-proclaimed corruption whistleblower Ted Blom briefed the Public Enterprises committee charged with the probe on Wednesday.

Blom and former Eskom CEO Brian Dames were the latest witnesses to appear before the committee.

Blom, who now heads Outa’s energy division, sketched broad details about corruption at Eskom, claiming that there are up to a thousand cases, many of them unreported.

He took the committee back in time and in an astonishing revelation he claimed to have met with Jacob Zuma at his Forest Town home in 2009 to alert him to the irregularities.

Zuma was president of the African National Congress but not yet the country at the time.

Zuma allegedly told him to meet a team of “fixers”, but Blom told Members of Parliament that the group had a different agenda.

“They introduced themselves and the first question was: Given my vast experience of Eskom, over more than 20-odd years, how could I help them to access some of the gravy train?”

Blom left the meeting furious that he was supposedly being roped into a plan to loot the state-owned company. Parliamentarians asked Blom for the names of the so-called “fixers,” which he promised to provide them with at a later stage.

Earlier, Dames told the committee that Minister Malusi Gigaba’s adviser Siyabonga Mahlangu asked him to meet with “some people,”one of whom he assumed was a Gupta brother.

But Dames claims he can’t recall who it was.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa | Leave a comment

Fatal flaws in Eskom’s plan for new nuclear power at Koeberg, South Africa

Stand up to nuclear policy https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2017-10-17-letter-stand-up-to-nuclear-policy/  17 OCTOBER 2017 What was once suspected has finally become reality. Instead of the preferred site of Thyspunt, the Department of Environmental Affairs has approved an environmental authorisation for up to 4,000MW of nuclear power at the current Koeberg site just outside Cape Town.

The department cites increasing need for base-load power and that nuclear energy is in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), as reasons for approving the environmental impact assessment. Yet Eskom’s tariff application shows that electricity demand is declining and the IRP has been criticised, with reputable institutes such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) showing that nuclear energy is not needed.

Apart from a flimsy economic justification (no substantive assessment of “need and desirability”, as required by environmental law), other fatal flaws in Eskom’s final environmental impact report include:

• An unscientific failure to disclose the actual reactor technology to be assessed;

• An inadequate assessment of the emergency planning for the Koeberg site;

• An unacceptable containment of high-level (used fuel) waste on the Koeberg site;

• A complete failure to assess the plans for decommissioning the reactor; and

• An absence of a final plan for long-term nuclear waste management.

We therefore call on all South Africans to unite behind the Coalition Against Nuclear Energy (www.cane.org.za) and the Koeberg Alert Alliance in defence of an administratively unjust and unacceptable version of the environmental authorisation.

We further call on our fellow citizens to campaign to defeat once and for all the national pro-nuclear energy policy, as we did with the ill-conceived HIV/AIDS policy.

Mike KanteyNational chairman, Coalition Against NuclearEnergy

October 18, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Joy and relief in Thyspunt, South Africa, as Thyspunt vetoed for new nuclear reactor

Jubilation as nuclear vetoed for Thyspunt, Herald Live,  

 Surprise as government overrules Eskom, opts for Western Cape site The government’s surprise effective veto of Eskom’s push to build a nuclear reactor at Thyspunt near Cape St Francis has been greeted with jubilation by groups opposed to the move. The Department of Environmental Affairs has instead authorised the construction of Eskom’s proposed nuclear project at Duynefontein in the Western Cape.

NoPENuke said the department’s authorisation of Duynefontein, effectively vetoing the utility’s preferred site at Thyspunt, was “a real victory for the little guy”.

The Thyspunt Alliance said it was “a triumph for due process” and the Gamtkwa Khoisan Council said the ruling opened the way for establishment of a coastal cradle of mankind, a World Heritage site celebrating Thyspunt’s unique cultural and environmental heritage.

In keeping with South Africa’s nuclear process so far, the Environmental Affairs ruling arrived amid conflicting signals.

Less than a week ago, an upbeat nuclear summit at Jeffreys Bay – attended by Deputy Energy Minister Thembisile Majola and Eskom acting general manager Loyiso Tyabashe – declared the readiness of Eastern Cape youth to seize envisaged job opportunities flowing from development at Thyspunt.

More confusing still, on Sunday, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said South Africa had no money for nuclear.

Speaking in Washington in the US after meetings with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, Gigaba said the South African economy “at present is not in a position where it can carry the burden of nuclear technology”.

Eskom’s nuclear aspirations were launched a decade ago, moving through multiple environmental impact assessments (EIAs) which were submitted and resubmitted after successful challenges from the anti-Thyspunt groupings supported by pro bono studies undertaken by scientists living in St Francis.

Besides the cultural heritage issue, concerns have included Thyspunt’s fragile dune wetlands and the sensitivity of the area to flooding, the existing tourism industry, the threat to the flagship chokka industry via the ejection of sand spoil into squid breeding areas during plant construction and the instability of the site, making it vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis……http://www.heraldlive.co.za/news/2017/10/17/jubilation-nuclear-vetoed-thyspunt/

October 18, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Africa | Leave a comment

South Africa: President Jacob Zuma changes Cabinet, in order to promote nuclear power deal

Cabinet reshuffle about Zuma chasing nuclear deal: Malema, Times Live 17 October 2017  BY PENWELL DLAMINI The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters‚ Julius Malema‚ says the cabinet reshuffle announced by President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday is a tactical move to see the nuclear deal concluded.

“He is chasing the nuclear deal in the energy [department]….She [then minister of energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson] wanted minister Nene to sign some documents which were provided to her by the president. Nene said ‘I cannot sign the documents which have not been taken through the department. If you give me time to go through them‚ we can then sign.‘

“It took forever and [former finance minister Nhlanhla] Nene got removed because they thought he was reluctant on the thing. Peterson got removed because they thought she was not handling the nuclear deal properly‚” Malema charged at a media briefing on Tuesday.

“A confidante has been sent there [Department of Energy] to go and process the nuclear deal. [New minister of energy‚ David] Mahlobo will run the two departments. Both the intelligence and energy because [newly-appointed state security minister Bongani] Bongo is a nobody. He is just a young man who knows nothing. Bongo is put there because he admires Mahlobo. Bongo cannot undermine Mahlobo. He will listen to Mahlobo on what needs to happen.

“You must not be fooled. They are chasing the energy deal‚” Malema told reporters.

He was reacting to Zuma’s decision to remove Mmamoloko Kubayi as the minister of energy‚ replacing her with Mahlobo who was the minister of intelligence. The move‚ Malema said‚ was to have control on the energy department so that no one could block Zuma’s nuclear deal.

In April‚ the Western Cape High Court ruled that government’s decision to call for proposals for the procurement of 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear energy was unlawful and unconstitutional.

Earthlife Africa‚ which brought the case‚ said the court vindicated its view which was that the process government had followed was unlawful because it failed to consult the public about its decision. The judgment also made all deals that government had pursued with Russia and the US invalid…….. https://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2017-10-17-cabinet-reshuffle-about-zuma-chasing-nuclear-deal-malema/

October 18, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

South Africa’s new Energy Minister, David Mahlobo, could be the nuclear industry’s new best friend

David Mahlobo, the nuclear deal’s new best friend?  http://www.fin24.com/Economy/david-mahlobo-the-nuclear-deals-new-best-friend-20171017 Oct 17 2017 Johannesburg – New Energy Minister David Mahlobo could make it much easier to realise South Africa’s nuclear ambitions, several commentators warned on Tuesday.

They voiced the opinion that Mahlobo’s abilities as a spy will be a handy tool to cast a veil of secrecy around critical deals that need to be hidden.

Concerns were raised that President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle, moving Mmamoloko Kubayi from the energy portfolio to communications and replacing her with the former state security minister, was a definite shift towards nuclear.

“This is all about the nuclear deal. Mahlobo has accompanied the president on visits to Russia, presumably to lay the ground for the Rosatom nuclear deal,” said Lawson Naidoo of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution.

Mahlobo is seen as a close confidant of Zuma, with some labelling him as the president’s loyal “Prime Minister”.

Also significant is that Zuma was accompanied only by Mahlobo and Deputy International Relations Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo on his state visit to Russia in 2014, where he met with Putin at his residence in Novo-Ogariovo. No aides, advisers or wives went along, creating a veil of secrecy.

It has been widely speculated that Zuma and Putin struck a deal on nuclear cooperation at this meeting, but no evidence has ever emerged to confirm this.

The meeting only came to light later that week in 2014.

Democratic Alliance energy spokesperson Gordon Mackay said South Africans should be deeply concerned. “This is the state securitisation of the energy department. It started under Kubayi and will be completed under Mahlobo.”

He said Zuma was effectively taking control of the department, which has always been viewed as a department of former president Thabo Mbeki.

“It is the clearest indication that the state is dead set on pursuing nuclear.”

Mackay said Mahlobo is an enforcer, and a master at creating a murky atmosphere around deals that need to be pushed through and hidden.

The new energy minister is seen as close to Zuma and someone who can drive the nuclear deal, said Daniel Silke, director at the Political Futures Consultancy.

Liz McDaid, spokesperson for the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute, said since the institute’s court victory earlier this year in the high court, which ordered the government to restart the nuclear process, nothing has apparently happened on the surface to show progress with the deal.

“We suspected something was happening behind closed doors,” she said. “Last Friday’s nuclear site authorisation and now today’s Cabinet reshuffle has seen the Intelligence Minister become the Energy Minister. This is a desperate attempt to force through the nuclear deal.”

The Sunday Times last month added further fuel to the fire on Mahlobo’s Russian links, when the paper reported that Mahlobo had made the introductions between Russian gas company Rosgeo and controversial businessmen Kenny Kunene and Gayton McKenzie. Rosgeo signed a R5.3bn deal with PetroSA for gas exploration off the southern coast to feed the gas to liquids refinery at Mossel Bay at the recent Brics summit in Xiamen, China.

October 18, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Eskom gets permission to develop a new nuclear plant

Eskom gets nod to develop new nuclear power station, Fin24, Oct 13 2017  Lameez Omarjee Johannesburg – Eskom has permission to develop a new nuclear plant next to the existing Koeberg power station in the Western Cape.

A statement issued by the power utility on Friday revealed that the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) authorised its Final Environmental Impact Report for the power station at Duynefontein.

Eskom’s chief nuclear officer Dave Nicholls said this is considered an “important milestone” in developing the country’s nuclear programme.

Five sites were investigated which include Brazil and Schulpfontein in the Northern Cape, Bantamsklip  and Duynefontein in the Western Cape, and Thyspunt in the Eastern Cape.

Following the scoping phase, Brazil and Schulpfontein have been excluded for further environmental studies while the other sites are still usable in the future as no “fatal flaws” have been identified, Eskom said……….

However, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) which has been challenging Eskom’s nuclear build programme, claims to have “plenty of ammo” left to dispute any claims of progress being made by the power utility.

Speaking to Fin24 on Friday, Ted Blom, director of the energy portfolio, said that such a decision by the DEA is premature. “It is absolutely premature, with the whole nuclear IRP justification process still a work in progress,” he said. “Any claims of progress are totally premature.”

Blom added that OUTA is building up a case against the Department of Energy regarding its Integrated Resource Plan and its National Energy Efficiency Strategy which are “out of tune”, and that it would take further action if nuclear were “steamrolled”. http://www.fin24.com/Economy/Eskom/eskom-gets-nod-to-develop-new-nuclear-power-station-20171013

October 14, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Secret tragedy of Britain’s nuclear bomb tests

ground crews who washed down planes that flew through the cloud soon began falling sick and low levels of radiation were detected all over Australia.

In 2007 it was found nuclear veterans had the same DNA damage as Chernobyl survivors.

Wives had three times the normal numbers of miscarriage and children 10 times more birth de­­­fects. 

The secrets behind Britain’s first atomic bomb – and the heartbreaking aftermath The detonation of the plutonium bomb in 1952 was hailed a national success, but many of the servicemen involved were left permanently damaged by the fallout BY SUSIE  BONIFACE, MIRROR UK, 6 OCT 2017 

A blinding flash, an eerie silence, and then the sky cracked.

The sound reached those wat­ching at the same time as the blast – a scorching 600mph wind carrying with it the long, grumbling roar of the worst weapon known to humankind.

It was 65 years ago this week – 9.30am local time on October 3, 1952 – that Britain detonated its first nuclear bomb .

Winston Churchill was jubilant, the scientists bursting with pride. But on a tiny island off Australia the cost of the radioactive fallout from Operation Hurricane had yet to be counted.

Many of the servicemen present that day went on to suffer heartbreaking consequences.

Royal Engineer Derek Hickman, now 84, was there. He says: “We had no pro­­tective clothing. You wore shorts and sandals and if you remembered your bush hat, that was all you had.” The blast took place on HMS Plym, an old frigate anchored 300 yards off Trimouille, one of the Monte Bello islands. Troops and scientists lived and worked for months on a small fleet that accompanied her on her final mission.

Derek remembers: “They ordered us to muster on deck – I was on HMS Zeebrugge – and turn our backs to the Plym. We put our hands over our eyes and they counted down over the Tannoy.

“There was a sharp flash and I could see the bones in my hands like an X-ray. Then the sound and the wind and they told us to turn and face it. We watched the mushroom cloud just melt away. They gave us five photos as a memento.

“All that was left of the Plym were a few pieces of metal that fell like rain and her outline scorched on the sea bed.”………

In 1951 Aus­­tralia agreed the blast could take place at Monte Bello.   ….

Thousands of UK and Aussie servicemen saw the mushroom cloud dis­­perse before dozens of planes flew through it to collect dust samples.

The press had been given a viewing tower 55 miles away. The Mirror announced: “This bang has changed the world”.

No official statement was made until October 23 when PM Churchill told the Commons: “All concerned are to be warmly congratulated on the successful outcome of an historic episode.”

But ground crews who washed down planes that flew through the cloud soon began falling sick and low levels of radiation were detected all over Australia.

James Stephenson, 85,remembers being given an unexplained posting to Aber­­­gavenny. The former Royal Engineers soldier says: “We went for train­­ing and they started weeding us out, re­­­moving lads they thought were Communist sympathisers or not up to it.

“Nobody told us what it was about. When we embarked in Portsmouth we had to load machinery ourselves, they wouldn’t let the dockers do it.”James left with the first wave of vessels in January 1952. They were fol­­lowed six months later by HMS Plym carrying the bomb.

Derek explains: “It was a plutonium bomb – the dirtiest. A few years later I went to the doctor and mention­­­ed Monte Bello.

“He asked if I was mar­­ried. I said ‘Yes’ and he replied ‘My advice is ne­­­­v­­­er have children’. He wouldn’t say why.”

It was a warning Derek, now living alone in Crediton, Devon, couldn’t ignore. He says: “My wife wanted children and in the end I walked away from the marriage.

“She never blamed me but it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done. Since then I’ve discovered my friends’ wives suffered many miscarriages and their children had deformities.

“It’s given me a small comfort that at least we avoided that.”

In 2007 it was found nuclear veterans had the same DNA damage as Chernobyl survivors.

Wives had three times the normal numbers of miscarriage and children 10 times more birth de­­­fects. James, from Taunton, Devon, had two healthy children. But he was lucky.

He says: “I know people whose children were born with organs outside their bodies. It made me worry about my grandchildren. Thank God they’re fine.”

Hurricane had an explosive yield of 25 kilotons – 15 kilotons had flattened Hiroshima and killed 126,000. But less than four weeks later the US detonated a hydrogen bomb 400 times more powerful than Hurricane.

The UK was back out in the cold and would not be accepted at the nuclear top table until 1958 when it finally developed its own H-bomb.

In all 22,000 servicemen took part in Britain’s nuclear tests which ended only in 1991. Derek and James are among the 2,000 or so who survive and are still coming to terms with the chain reaction unleashed at Monte Bello.

James says: “Nobody really knew what they were doing, not us or the scientists. It was just a job we had to do.”

The Monte Bello islands are now a wildlife park but visitors are warned not to stay for more than an hour or take home the fragments of metal that can still be found – radioactive pieces of a long-forgotten Royal Navy warship that unleashed a hurricane. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/secrets-behind-britains-first-atomic-11300935

Thousands of UK and Aussie servicemen saw the mushroom cloud dis­­perse before dozens of planes flew through it to collect dust samples.

The press had been given a viewing tower 55 miles away. The Mirror announced: “This bang has changed the world”.

No official statement was made until October 23 when PM Churchill told the Commons: “All concerned are to be warmly congratulated on the successful outcome of an historic episode.”

But ground crews who washed down planes that flew through the cloud soon began falling sick and low levels of radiation were detected all over Australia. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/secrets-behind-britains-first-atomic-11300935

October 9, 2017 Posted by | health, Namibia, Reference, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Africa – lovely! they have a nuclear power utility educating kids about nuclear power!!!

SA utility educates youth on nuclear ESI Africa, 6 Oct 17 

 Eskom has recently launched its first school’s nuclear debate programme in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Province.

The School Nuclear Debate initiative is part of Eskom’s five-year Schools Adoption & Skills Development programme……….“Eskom aims to create awareness about the most important aspects of nuclear power, to bring facts to the fore and to debate, correct myths, fears and misconceptions that may exist regarding nuclear power.”

October 7, 2017 Posted by | Education, South Africa | Leave a comment

Why is Niger still losing out to Areva?

 Extract-a-fact,  By Quentin Parrinello 18th Sept 2017, In 2014, Niger announced it had successfully renegotiated uranium
extraction contracts with French state-owned company Areva to secure a
greater share of the wealth deriving from their uranium resources.

Three years later, an analysis carried out by Oxfam based on data released by
Areva calls into question the benefits for Niger in the contract
renegotiation.
http://www.extractafact.org/blog/why-is-niger-still-losing-out-to-areva

September 23, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, France, Niger, politics international | Leave a comment

Russia’s mysterious move to wind energy production in Africa, despite its claims about nuclear power

Nuclear agenda in Africa under spotlight, as Rosatom launches wind energy firm, fin 24,Sep 22 2017   Matthew le Cordeur Cape Town – Russia’s nuclear agenda in Africa came under the spotlight this week, after Rosatom announced the launch of a major wind energy subsidiary.

Russia’s state-owned nuclear firm this month announced the formation a new wind energy subsidiary to manage 970 MW of new capacity being developed, but assured Fin24 this week that nuclear energy is still its core business. The firm, NovaWind, will start with a capital backing of about R255bn, according to Wind Power Monthly.

Rosatom is a frontrunner in South Africa’s stalled 9.6 GW nuclear new build programme, which many expect it will win. Various other countries in Africa have shown interest or signed deals for Rosatom’s nuclear reactors. Showing how serious it is about turning Africa into a nuclear energy powerhouse, the firm has an established office in Johannesburg.

With its focus on selling nuclear reactors in Africa, it is curious that the firm is moving into the wind sector, according to Russian environmental policy expert Vladimir Slivyak.

Slivyak, addressing a gathering in Cape Town this week, said he believes Rosatom is looking to increase its focus on the lucrative wind sector. His reasoning was the lack of money in Russia and the need to develop projects outside the country to bring in much-need revenue. With the West moving to wind energy, it made sense to develop this industry, Slivyak explained.

He said it was therefore concerning that Rosatom is pushing its “expensive” reactors to poor countries, which are sold on the notion that they will transform their economies, “like it did for the West”, Slivyak explained. “Why are those same Western countries now ditching nuclear?” he asked.

Slivyak, an anti-nuclear activist based in Moscow, is well known in South Africa for leaking Russia’s agreement with South Africa in 2014.

“It makes sense to move into the renewable energy field,” he said. “We can see that even the nuclear energy market is saying nuclear is bad. The Russian energy industry has started to advertise itself to fight climate change.

“Nuclear power cannot really save this climate change crisis,” he said. “You have to invest a lot of money and even if you do this, you get a small result. There are currently 450 nuclear reactors operating around the world and these were built in the last 50 to 60 years.

“If you take all the money in the world and build another 450 reactors, you would have to spend $4.5trn. This would only see an emission reduction of 6%, while solar and wind energy would see the emissions reduce to 0%,” he said.

“It takes 10 years to build one reactor and several months to build a solar or wind plant,” he said. “With nuclear, you have to invest today and wait 10 to 30 years. With renewables, you invest today, and in half a year you may already get your energy.

Slivyak, an anti-nuclear activist based in Moscow, is well known in South Africa for leaking Russia’s agreement with South Africa in 2014.

.“There is not much money going into nuclear,” he said. “This has been happening for last 15 years, so you can’t blame nuclear’s decline on accidents like Fukushima. It has been because of bad economics and a waste problem it can’t solve.

“If you pump all the money into nuclear, there will be no money for healthcare or education. Then maybe you will wait a few decades before the power station works. If you country goes for nuclear, you will be stuck with it for 100 years.”………

“There is not much money going into nuclear,” he said. “This has been happening for last 15 years, so you can’t blame nuclear’s decline on accidents like Fukushima. It has been because of bad economics and a waste problem it can’t solve.

“If you pump all the money into nuclear, there will be no money for healthcare or education. Then maybe you will wait a few decades before the power station works. If you country goes for nuclear, you will be stuck with it for 100 years.”

September 23, 2017 Posted by | AFRICA, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

African countries – easy targets for the global nuclear merchants – warning to South Africa

The truth about nuclear power in SA https://www.iol.co.za/sunday-tribune/news/the-truth-about-nuclear-power-in-sa-11245644 17 SEPTEMBER 2017, NABEELAH SHAIKH, nabeelah.shaikh@inl.co.za, DURBAN: Two international anti-nuclear activists visited Durban on Saturday to educate the community on the harmful effects of nuclear energy. They highlighted why South Africans must continue to oppose its proliferation in our country.

Russian activist Vladimir Slivyak and American activist Chris Williams claim African countries are “easy targets” for nuclear reactor companies who have wanted to sell the idea of nuclear energy, as more Western countries oppose it.

Slivyak, a member of the Russian environmental organisation Ecodefense, has been an environmental and energy activist since 1989. Williams, a long time sustainable energy policy activist, is currently the Vermont USA organiser for the Citizens Awareness Network.

These activists have already been to Joburg and Port Elizabeth where they visited rural communities near a proposed nuclear site to educate them about what nuclear energy was and what it would mean for them if it were introduced.

In Durban yesterday, Slivyak and Williams spoke at an event at St Paul’s Church. Recently Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute challenged the government’s nuclear deals with Russia, the US and South Korea.

In April, judgment was delivered in the Cape Town High Court and these deals were set aside and declared unlawful and unconstitutional. In a press briefing yesterday morning Slivyak and Williams emphasised the need for South Africa to distance itself from nuclear energy and said renewable energy was the way of the future.

“South Africa has enough sun as well as wind. There are other alternatives like solar and wind energy which is now becoming the way of the future. When these international nuclear companies try to sell you the idea of nuclear energy, they don’t tell you that in the long run, it’s actually going to cost you a whole lot more than you expect,” said Williams.

He said the financial markets internationally were also moving away from nuclear energy to renewable energy because it was cost effective and the safer alternative.

In Germany, they’ve already taken a decision to close 23 nuclear reactor plants in the next five to six years. They’ve made a commitment to source all their power through sustainable energy and other countries should follow in this path. We are here to spread the word in terms of what’s happening on the international front and countries can make informed decisions based on this,” said Slivyak.

Earthlife Africa Durban, who hosted the anti-nuclear activists, said it was concerned that the South African government still planned to pursue the nuclear deal.

“It is at the heart of the state capture and the cabinet reshuffle. If it goes ahead the R1 trillion deal will bankrupt the country. It is a risky and dangerous source of power as witnessed by the many nuclear disasters, most notably Fukushima in Japan”.

“Earthlife Africa Durban and the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance supports a renewable energy future and an end to coal and nuclear power stations. We call on the people of South Africa to oppose the government’s shady nuclear deals and to support a safe, clean and green future with renewable energy,” said Earthlife Durban spokeswoman, Alice Thompson.

 

September 18, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Africa | Leave a comment

Global nuclear marketers salivating at prospect of selling nukes to South Africa

SA could start nuclear procurement process again as soon as next month
The chairperson of the Necsa, speaking at the World Nuclear Association conference in London, says the politicians just have ‘to press the re-start button
’ Business Live 15 SEPTEMBER 2017  ALEXANDER WINNING LONDON —SA could re-start a procurement process for its nuclear expansion project as soon as next month, but the government still has to determine the exact timing, the chairperson of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) said on Friday.

SA is planning to build several new nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 9,600MW, which could be one of the world’s biggest nuclear deals in decades. The plans aim to help resolve the country’s chronic power shortages.

The plans were disrupted this year when SA’s High Court ruled that a nuclear co-operation pact with Russia was unlawful, after which the government started to draw up new pacts with countries with nuclear expertise. South African officials have made progress on the nuclear project since the court ruling, selecting potential sites for the new power stations, Necsa chairperson, Kelvin Kemm told Reuters.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Nuclear Association conference in London, he said Eskom and Necsa were ready to proceed. “All that needs to happen is for the politicians to press the re-start button.”…….

Nuclear reactor makers, including Russia’s Rosatom, South Korea’s Kepco, France’s EDF and Areva, Toshiba-owned Westinghouse and China’s CGN are eyeing the South African project, which could be worth tens of billions of dollars.

A senior executive from Russian state firm Rosatom told Reuters on Thursday his firm was keen to win the contract and was ready to use a business model suitable to SA…….

Zuma’s opponents have said the project could be used as a conduit for corruption, a charge the president and officials deny. Some investors say the project is too big and expensive for a developing economy, such as SA.

Kemm said all top nuclear reactor makers were still in the running for the project and that he hoped a firm contract with a foreign partner would be signed next year. SA aimed to achieve 50% local input to the project to lift the economy, he said, adding that ordering several plants at once should help bring down costs. https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2017-09-15-sa-could-start-nuclear-procurement-process-again-as-soon-as-next-month/

September 16, 2017 Posted by | marketing, South Africa | Leave a comment

Solar minigrid overturns rural hardship in MASHABA, Zimbabwe

Solar grid keeps harvests high, hospitals lit in parched rural Zimbabwe, by Tonderayi Mukeredzi | Thomson Reuters Foundation, 11 September 2017With worsening droughts drying fields and hydropower, solar energy is providing a way forward in rural areas MASHABA,  – Until recently, farmers in this town in southern Zimbabwe struggled to water their crops, frustrated by poor rainfall and the regular breakdown of the diesel engines that powered their irrigation systems.

As in most areas of rural Zimbabwe, rain-fed agriculture provides most of the jobs in this part of Gwanda district, some 130km (80 miles) southeast of Bulawayo.

But sparse rains over the last decade, a worsening problem associated with climate change, have caused many harvests to fail, and cut into the country’s generation of hydropower, which provides much of its electricity.

In Mashaba, however, the community’s luck is turning. In 2015, the town installed a solar mini-grid power station that has helped green the hot, arid area transform into a hive of entrepreneurial activity. The off-grid power system, with 400 solar panels that provide nearly 100 kilowatts of reliable power, has made it possible to effectively irrigate crops, boosting farming yields and fuelling economic growth. Local leaders say schools have become more productive and medical facilities safer.

The $3.2 million mini-grid was funded by the European Union, the OPEC Fund for International Development and the Global Environment Facility as part of a drive to promote universal access to modern energy in rural areas. Its construction was overseen by Practical Action Southern Africa, a development charity.

The plant powers the Mankonkoni and Rustlers Gorge irrigation schemes, which cover 32 hectares (79 acres) and 42 hectares (104 acres) respectively; the Mashaba Primary School; a business centre with three shops; the Mashaba Clinic; and the Masendani Business Centre, which has four shops and an energy kiosk.

A board of trustees selected by the community is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the mini-grid, and community members have been trained to maintain and operate it.

The mini-grid will be co-owned by an independent power producer and the community through the trust…….http://news.trust.org/item/20170911111952-ei8xq/

September 14, 2017 Posted by | AFRICA, renewable | Leave a comment

Corruption in South Africa: Eskom and the nuclear industry: time to promote renewables

Time for the energy sector to self-correct. EE, August 15th, 2017, by Prof. Hartmut Winkler, University of Johannesburg, May and June 2017 will go down as two of the most dreadful months in the history of the South African power utility Eskom. Its credibility in the eyes of the public has reached rock bottom after a series of well-publicised scandals.

September 1, 2017 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa | Leave a comment