The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

South Africa, with no way to deal with radioactive waste, must not develop new nuclear power

March 2, 2021 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Radioactive dust over Europe – from France’s nuclear bomb tests in the Sahara!

ACRO 24th Feb 2021, Sahara sand cloud: radioactive pollution coming back like a boomerang. While the dust-laden winds from the Sahara fly over Europe again this week, analysis carried out by ACRO show that they contain residues of radioactive pollution dating from the atomic bomb tests carried out by France in the 60s.

February 27, 2021 Posted by | AFRICA, environment, France, weapons and war | Leave a comment

New nuclear build for South Africa would face legal stumbling blocks

Nersa warned nod for nuclear build would face legal stumbling blocks

Court is likely to regard decision to pursue a plant as irrational, regulator told at public hearing, 23 FEBRUARY 2021 – LISA STEYN

Any decision to pursue a 2,500MW nuclear build will likely be seen as irrational and unreasonable if tested in court, the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) heard on Tuesday.  Should the regulator be given the green light for a nuclear build, it would lead to “severe legal complications”, Anton van Dalsen, legal counsellor for the Helen Suzman Foundation, warned Nersa… … (subscribers only

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Legal, South Africa | Leave a comment

South Africa: an example of how nuclear waste costs are passed on to later generations

Questions we should therefore all be asking of government, the Department of Energy, the nuclear regulator, Nersa, Nuclear Waste Disposal Institute, Necsa, Eskom and the South African nuclear sector are: 

  • Who should bear the cost of nuclear plant decommissioning and long-term storage and disposal of high-level nuclear waste – the polluter, the customer or the taxpayer? 
  • Where are the real asset-based funds set aside within Eskom and Necsa for future decommissioning and long-term storage and disposal of high-level nuclear waste? 
  • Does the “polluter pays” principle apply in practice, or will the customer and taxpayer end up paying twice through government bailouts? 

One can only guess who may end up bearing the real decommissioning, high-level waste storage, disposal and final repository costs in due course – perhaps not the polluter at all, but our children’s children as taxpayers in the next generation. 

South African taxpayers exposed to high-level nuclear waste disposal and decommissioning liabilities, Daily Maverick, By Chris Yelland• 21 February 2021  

Citizens and taxpayers in South Africa continue to labour under the misguided belief that Eskom and the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) make real funding provisions monthly, over the operating life of their nuclear reactors, to cover the costs of decommissioning and disposal of high-level nuclear waste from their nuclear plants, in terms of the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

Page 69 of the 8th National Report prepared by the Department of Energy and the SA National Nuclear Regulator,  and presented to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in August 2019 in terms of South Africa’s obligations  to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, states in respect of Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear power station:

“Financial provision for decommissioning (as well as spent fuel management) continues to be accumulated on a monthly basis since commercial operation of the installation began in 1984. The financial provision is reflected in the annual financial statements of Eskom. These financial statements are audited in accordance with South African national legislation.

“In terms of decommissioning financial plans, the amount of decommissioning and spent fuel provision made each month is determined by the present value of future estimated cash flows. These financial plans are reviewed regularly and adjusted annually, and informed by the South African inflation rate.”

However, the problem with these fine words to the IAEA is that they are misleading, perhaps deliberately so, and that the so-called provision is actually something of a “Potemkin village” to placate and impress the IAEA and the public that all is well and under control.

In fact, no real money, securities or investments of any kind have actually been set aside monthly, annually or at stage and in any fund during operation of South Africa’s nuclear facilities as provision for decommissioning, long-term storage and final disposal of high-level nuclear waste, and/or the construction and operation of a high-level nuclear waste repository.

Continue reading

February 22, 2021 Posted by | South Africa, wastes | Leave a comment

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa omits mention of nuclear in his State of the Nation Address

Experts speculate on meaning of Ramaphosa’s nuclear omission in SONA

By Mwangi 15 Feb 21, Githahu Cape Town – Energy experts and commentators are speculating on the the significance of the omission of any mention of nuclear energy by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation address, with one suggesting this might be a sign that the government may have dropped its commitment to the nuclear power option.

In his speech on Thursday night, Ramaphosa said: “The fourth priority intervention of the recovery plan is to rapidly expand energy-generation capacity.

“Over the last year, we have taken action to urgently and substantially increase generation capacity in addition to what Eskom generates. The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) will soon be announcing the successful bids for 2 000 megawatts of emergency power.

“Government will soon be initiating the procurement of an additional 11 800 megawatts of power from renewable energy, natural gas, battery storage and coal in line with the Integrated Resource Plan 2019.”

Mark Swilling, Distinguished Professor of sustainable development at the School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University, said: “It is significant that nuclear wasn’t mentioned. It’s not like government forgot about nuclear.

“The DMRE has after all been pushing nuclear power very hard. What is more likely is that the department failed to get its way, and that can only be a good thing, as nuclear is expensive and risky, especially when there are cheaper alternatives.

“What the president announced is a very good start, but not enough. Instead of the procurement of an additional 11 800 megawatts, what we need is at least 20 000MW if we are to be free of load shedding by 2025.

“There is a problem if the 11 800 includes coal because it’s not as though you can build a new coal mine. Nobody is funding them anymore. Around the world even new coal stations are shutting down. The 11 800MW should be strictly from renewables.”

Executive director of the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei), Francesca de Gasparis, said: “The president’s speech was silent on nuclear power, yet we know from recent developments that the government has been pushing on with its nuclear plans, despite more nuclear not being needed and being one of the most costly electricity generation options.

“In terms of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which lays out our energy choices, this risky and outdated technology is not even identified as a necessary part of the solution to the country’s ongoing energy crisis. Renewable energy is significantly quicker to install and a more cost-effective choice.”

The Climate Justice Charter Movement lobby group said in a statement: “The economic recovery plan calls for more off-shore extraction of oil and gas. If the president is serious about the climate crisis he would make it clear that nuclear energy plans are also off the national agenda. In this context, we would have taken his climate change commission more seriously.”

February 15, 2021 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Radioactive poisoning of the environment: France’s nuclear legacy of wastes in Algeria

Impact of France’s nuclear tests persists: Algeria

Algerian Foreign Minister said nuclear tests were three to four times the size of US bombing of Hiroshima in Japan,  Abdul Razzaq Bin Abdullah   |13.02.2021   ALGIERS

France’s nuclear experiments in the Algerian desert in the 1960s were three to four times equal to the Hiroshima bombing in Japan, Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum said on Saturday.

In a Twitter post on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the first French nuclear explosion in the Algerian desert, on Feb. 13, 1960, Boukadoum described the impacts of the tests as “catastrophic”.

“On this day in 1960, imperialist France carried out the first nuclear explosion in the Reggane region in the Algerian desert, in a process code-named ‘Gerboise Bleue’ (Blue Desert Rat),” Boukadoum said.

He added that the French nuclear explosion yielded a force of 70 kilotons (kt) and its catastrophic radiological repercussions still persist.

The first atomic bomb dropped 75 years ago by the United States leveled Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and killed an estimated 140,000 people with many more dying in the following years from the effects of radiation. Three days later, Washington dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki, killing around 70,000 people and forced Japan to surrender six days later.

According to French officials, the colonial authorities carried out 17 nuclear experiments in the Algerian desert in the period between 1960 and 1966. Algerian historians, however, put the number at 57.

On Feb. 13 1960, France conducted its first nuclear test, code-named “Gerboise Bleue” (Blue Desert Rat) in the Sahara Desert, southwest of Algeria.

The French nuclear experiments have caused the death of around 42,000 Algerians and injured thousands due to nuclear radioactivity, in addition to the extensive damage to the environment.

France has rejected Algerian demands to reveal the location of the nuclear waste as well as compensating the victims and those suffering from permanent disabilities due to the harmful effects of nuclear radioactivity.

During the course of the struggle for independence, nearly five million Algerians were killed, while hundreds of thousands more injured. *Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara contributed to this report

February 15, 2021 Posted by | AFRICA, politics international, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Africa’s Koeberg Nuclear Power Station has suffered severe corrosion

Koeberg has suffered substantial damage, according to Koeberg Alert Alliance. (with audio)   Eskom says the containment building is ‘leak-tight’.

RELATED: We’ll extend Koeberg lifespan from 40 to 60 years. It’ll be safe – Eskom

Koeberg Nuclear Power Station has suffered substantial damage to its containment building, according to Koeberg Alert Alliance (KAA).

The containment building is designed to contain the escape of radioactive steam or gas in an emergency.

A nuclear accident at Koeberg will have devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of people who live close nearby.

Eskom says it is aware of “deterioration” and that it is managing the issue by implementing a modification.

Like all other nuclear power plants around the world, we do get deterioration… We’re managing this issue… Recent tests show… It’s leak-tight. The building works…

Riedewaan Bakardien, Chief Nuclear Officer – Eskom

Sea air has severely damaged the concrete structure, highlighting the significant risk the facility poses to nearby residents, according to KAA.

A concerned insider at Koeberg brought the alarming structural problems to the attention of KAA.

The insider informed KAA of a crack so large it goes right around the entire 110-metre circumference of the containment dome.

The community group says it is struggling to access information from Eskom about the damaged containment dome.

KAA claims that a 31-page Eskom report (about the damage), has eleven pages entirely blacked out while various other sections, photos and tables were censored because, claims Eskom, it contained “sensitive technical information”.

Lester Kiewit interviewed Peter Becker, a spokesperson for KAA.

The salt in the sea air… has caused accelerated rust in the rebar in the concrete of the containment structures… which caused cracking… About 10% of the surface of the containment building has delaminated [split into layers] …

Peter Becker, spokesperson – Koeberg Alert Alliance

Eskom blacked out about half of the report before releasing it to us…

Peter Becker, spokesperson – Koeberg Alert Alliance

Eskom is surprised by the speed at which it’s deteriorating… Koeberg was not well constructed, and the effect of sea-air was not well understood.

Peter Becker, spokesperson – Koeberg Alert Alliance

Koeberg is far too close to densely populated areas. If they tried to get approval to build it in that location today, it would be refused…

Peter Becker, spokesperson – Koeberg Alert Alliance

Koeberg was designed to last for 40 years… We get to that in 2024… but Eskom wants to keep it going. It’s a really bad idea…

Peter Becker, spokesperson – Koeberg Alert AllianceThis problem will remain. We’re implementing a modification… which will retard the deterioration.

Riedewaan Bakardien, Chief Nuclear Officer – Eskom

It’s the building around the reactor. Yes, there is corrosion… We’re well aware of it…

Riedewaan Bakardien, Chief Nuclear Officer – Eskom

February 15, 2021 Posted by | safety, South Africa | Leave a comment

No apologies from France, over nuclear bomb tests’ pollution in Algeria

The New Arab 12th Feb 2021, President Emmanuel Macron’s recent statement that a “memories and truth” commission will be established to look into the history of the French colonisation of Algeria, has led to much public discussion over this bloody legacy.

And in this context, the absence of apologies or offers of reparations by the French state has not gone unnoticed. One area of particular contention in this process is the ongoing and detrimental effects of France’s nuclear testing in Algeria, conducted throughout the
1960s. France conducted its first nuclear test known as the “Gerboise Bleue” in February 1960 in the Sahara Desert – an atomic bomb that was four times the strength of Hiroshima. A total of 17 tests were carried out, four of them atmospheric detonations, and 13 underground.

February 15, 2021 Posted by | AFRICA, Religion and ethics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Koeberg Nuclear Power Station containment buildings damaged by prolonged exposure to sea air

Koeberg Nuclear Power Station containment buildings suffer damage, ESI Africa, Feb 12, 2021   A recently released Eskom document has revealed that 40 years of exposure to sea air at Koeberg Nuclear Power Station has damaged the concrete of the containment buildings, according to Koeberg Alert Alliance.

At one stage the concrete containment dome was found to have cracked around the entire 110-meter circumference, states the Koeberg Alert Alliance.

“The containment buildings are the outer shells of the reactor buildings, built as pressure vessels to withstand the pressure if the reactors inside them ever malfunction and therefore prevent harmful radiation being leaked into the environment,” says DR, a member of Koeberg Alert Alliance and a retired analytical chemist.

“Where the chloride salts have entered, they have caused corrosion of the reinforcing steel bars, resulting in spalling and delamination of the concrete – it is even more alarming than I thought,” he says. Spalling results from water entering concrete which forces the surface to peel, pop out, or flake off. ……..

According to the Koeberg Alert Alliance, the provided 31-page report which refers to repairs done up until 2018, has eleven pages entirely blacked out and various other sections, photos and tables redacted with the reason given as “sensitive technical information”.

“The interesting parts are clearly those that have been redacted,” says University of Johannesburg Physics Professor, Hartmut Winkler. “The first big redact is titled History/Background and presumably describes past failures and recent damage that Koeberg Alert Alliance’s PAIA was interrogating. Why should the ‘History’ be sensitive due to technical information when the less redacted sections are full of technical details.

“The most puzzling redact to me are the references which are supposed to be publicly available documents, so why are they all being hidden? Do they expose some entities that Eskom does not want anyone to know have been involved with Koeberg and why? I would also query why the financial information would be redacted. Surely the public has a right to know how much money certain components cost, and what Eskom paid for them?” says Winkler.

This is a developing story, ESI Africa will do a follow up to give Eskom an opportunity to respond to the claims.

February 13, 2021 Posted by | incidents, South Africa | Leave a comment

South Africa’s new nuclear power plan would be a costly mistake


February 5, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, South Africa | Leave a comment

All-Africa Conference of Churches welcomes Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty

All-Africa Conference of Churches welcomes Nuclear Prohibition Treaty All-Africa Conference of Churches salutes the recent coming into force of the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), hailing it as further inspiration to work for a nuclear-weapons-free world.

By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ  The first-ever Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) came into force on 22 January 2021 after years of negotiations. The Treaty, welcomed by many as a step towards ridding the world of nuclear weapons, was signed four years after it was adopted by the UN in 2017.

Hailing this recent development, the All-Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), in a statement on Tuesday, expressed its support, together with the rest of the ecumenical community, for the Treaty which now becomes international law.

The ecumenical body said that the Treaty “ushers in the possibilities of heralding a new world free of the threats and tensions that have been characterized by the battle to develop and hold nuclear weapons.”

No safe hands for nuclear weapons

In the Tuesday statement, AACC stated its belief “that the very holding and potential threat of use of nuclear weapons is immoral,” adding that it looks forward to the day “when the world will be freed of these weapons permanently.”

“There are no safe hands for these weapons,” added AACC. “The accidental or deliberate detonation of a nuclear weapon would cause severe, long-lasting and far-reaching harm on all aspects of our lives and our environment throughout the world.”

At the same time, these technologies are “part of structures and systems that bring about great suffering and destruction” and have been the cause of “major tensions and threats of widespread devastation.”

TPNW: inspiration for a nuclear-weapon-free world

In the wake of the entry into force of the Treaty, AACC said that at a time when the world desperately needs fresh hope, the TPNW inspires us to work towards fully eliminating “the threat of nuclear weapons, and to create conditions for peace, justice and well-being.”

AACC also pointed out that the treaty addresses the disproportionate impact of nuclear weapons on women and indigenous peoples, as well as the “importance of victim assistance and healing environmental harms in a groundbreaking way.”

Citing the example of the hibakusha – survivors of the two nuclear attacks launched at Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II – AACC noted that their courage and perseverance serve as “the inspiration, guidance and moral foundation” in the quest for a world without nuclear weapons.

Appeal to States

Highlighting that none of the nine nuclear global powers, and many countries with defense pacts with them have signed or ratified the Treaty, AACC pointed out that a lot of work still remains to be done.  As at its entry into force, the TPNW was signed by 86 countries and ratified by 51.

n this regard, AACC appealed to the ecumenical global community to make its contribution, in whichever way possible, to participate in the global work for peace, justice and respect for life.

Concretely, the ecumenical body is urging all States to sign and ratify the TPNW, as well as join the first meeting of the State parties scheduled for next year. AACC further calls for decisive action “to strengthen the power of the TPNW upon its entry into force, and to work for peace, cooperation and common security.”

“We must not be discouraged at the slow pace, but become even more determined to push for a better world,” AACC said. “This is part of our mission and we know God is on our side.”


Founded in Kampala, Uganda, in 1963, the AAAC is an ecumenical association that today has 173 member churches present in 40 African countries, representing over 120 million Christians on the continent. Its headquarters is in Nairobi, Kenya.

January 30, 2021 Posted by | AFRICA, politics international, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Investigation of Algerians affected by France’s nuclear bomb tests

Le Monde 20th Jan 2021, At the heart of Franco-Algerian memory: the fight against those irradiated from the Sahara. This January 20, historian Benjamin Stora submits to the
President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, his report on Franco-Algerian memory. The nuclear tests carried out until 1966 in the Sahara are one of the disputes between the two countries. Investigation.

January 21, 2021 Posted by | AFRICA, France, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Africa the only country to have nuclear weapons, then abandon them

January 21, 2021 Posted by | Reference, South Africa, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Another bit of boring nuclear propaganda – from Morocco this time


A straight handout from the nuclear lobby? Of course! Not a word about the costs. Not a word

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

about safety, environmental issues. Not a word about the problem of radioactive trash produced. And, of course – no mention that medical radioisotopes can now be made safely and efficiently in non nuclear cyclotrons  

Morocco, Hungary Sign Agreement On Nuclear Energy Cooperation.     The agreement boosts bilateral cooperation in scientific and academic research.    By Sanae Alouazen, Jan 20, 2021  Rabat- Morocco’s National Center for Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology (CNESTEN) and the Hungarian Center for Energy Research signed a cooperation agreement on Tuesday.  The agreement aims to strengthen cooperation between the two research centers in the field of nuclear energy…….

January 21, 2021 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing | Leave a comment

Ten compelling reasons to stay away from nuclear power 

January 9, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Africa | Leave a comment