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China buried nuclear waste in Sudan desert

Official: China buried nuclear waste in Sudan desert, Dabanga Sudan, November 12 – 2015 KHARTOUM China has buried dozens of containers with toxic waste in the desert of Northern Sudan, according to a high-ranking official. The waste was most probably coming from nuclear plants in China.

According to the former director of the Sudan Atomic Energy Commission in Sudan, Mohamed Siddig, 60 containers have been brought to Sudan together with construction materials and machinery for the building of the Merowe Dam (Hamdab Dam) in the Northern part of Sudan. He did not mention the exact year of the import and the date the nuclear waste was disposed. China worked on the dam between 2004 and 2009.

During a conference held by the Sudanese Standards and Metrology Organisation (SSMO) in Khartoum on Tuesday, he disclosed how the Sudanese authorities allowed the import of the waste ‘without inspection’.  He told the audience that 40 containers were buried in the desert not far from the Merowe Dam construction site. Another 20 containers were also disposed in the desert, though not buried…..

Mohamed Siddig was responsible for the Sudan Radioactive Waste Management programme that started in 1995, a central radioactive waste management facility was established in Soba near Khartoum. The Atomic Energy Committee is responsible for overseeing the safety in activities that involve the use of atomic energy in Sudan, and promoting the use of nuclear techniques.

Gold miners complain

In 2010, the government was already confronted by complaints of local gold diggers, according to the Sudanese newspaper El Tariq. Several gold workers approached the government complaining about many of the worker suffering from cancer and skin diseases. The Sudan authorities downplayed the questions saying the waste they dug up were remnants from earlier times. However witnesses told El Tariq that 500 sealed barrels were discovered in the El Atmur desert area in River Nile State…….https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/official-china-buried-nuclear-waste-in-sudan-s-desert

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August 10, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, China, wastes | Leave a comment

The sorry history and sorry future of nuclear power in South Africa

July 18, 2019 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Extreme heat and humidity a killer combination now affecting one third of the African urban population

Extreme heat to hit one third of the African urban population, Science Daily 

Date:
June 5, 2019
Source:
Université de Genève
Summary:
An international team of researchers has combined demographic projections and climate scenarios across Africa for the first time. Their results reveal the number of people who will potentially be exposed to extreme temperatures.
Climate change, population growth and urbanisation are instrumental in increasing exposure to extreme temperatures. Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, — in collaboration with the University of Twente (Netherlands) and the EU Joint Research Centre in Ispra (Italy) — assessed a range of possible scenarios regarding the rate of climate change and socio-economic development in 173 African cities for the years 2030, 2060 and 2090. Their results, which are published in the journal Earth’s Future, show that a third of African city-dwellers could be affected by deadly heat waves in 2090. The projections also highlight the influence of socio-economic development on the impact of climate change.

The effects of climate change are felt specifically in countries with tropical climates, which are characterised by high humidity and very high temperatures. Furthermore, countries in these regions — especially in Africa — are experiencing heavy urbanisation and socio-economic development, leading to an explosion in the size of urban populations. A combination of these two factors is having a major impact on the living conditions of city-dwellers in Africa, especially in terms of exposure to extreme — or even lethal — temperatures. “We consider the critical threshold to be 40.6°C in apparent temperature, taking humidity into account,” says Guillaume Rohat, a researcher at UNIGE’s Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE). In fact, high outdoor humidity levels disrupt our ability to thermoregulate, with potentially fatal consequences………

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190605100340.htm

 

June 8, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, climate change | Leave a comment

In Kenya, 87% of the electricity is from renewal sources

May 27, 2019 Posted by | Kenya, renewable | Leave a comment

Nuclear power seen as obsolete in South Africa, but they must ramp up renewables, get out of coal

The Dance of Nuclear, Coal, & Renewables in South Africa, Clean Technica May 25th, 2019 by David Zarembka , “………  South Africa has the most mining and industry of any country in Africa and consequently needs the largest amount of electricity – 54,400 megawatts. This can be broken down as follows:

 

Type Capacity [MW] Percent
Coal 40,036 73.6%
Gas turbine 3,449 6.3%
Hydro 3,573 6.6%
Wind 2,096 3.9%
Nuclear 1,860 3.4%
Solar PV 1,479 2.7%
Solar Concentrated 400 0.7%
Landfill gas 7.5
Nuclear accounts for 3.4% of power capacity in South Africa, thermal energy sources 79.9%, and renewable sources 16.7% (hydro alone is 9.4%).

Nuclear Power: South Africa has two nuclear power plants in Koeberg near Capetown. Each unit produces 830 MW of power. The first was commissioned in 1984 and the second in 1985. Their closure dates are 2024 and 2025, although there are already attempts to keep them open longer than their 40 year lifespan.

The real story, the dance of nuclear power, began in 2010 when South Africa planned to build 8 more nuclear reactors for 9600 MW of additional energy at Koeberg and Thyspunt. These were projected to come online between 2024 and 2030. At different times, the United States, Russia, France, China, and South Korea were involved in negotiations. In March 2017, when the Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, opposed these new nuclear plants because South Africa could not afford the costs, he was fired by then President Jacob Zuma and replaced with a minister who approved the projects. Due to major corruption scandals, including the nuclear power projects, President Zuma was ousted on February 18, 2018. Zuma’s replacement, Cyril Ramaphosa, immediately canceled the nuclear projects until 2030. By that time, I am sure nuclear power will be seen as obsolete, like the horse and buggy is today.

There is another important side issue to the two nuclear power plants in operation. From mid-2017 through mid-2018, Capetown and the surrounding communities where the nuclear power plants are sited almost ran out of water, as the reservoirs were falling below 30% of capacity. Not only were restrictions placed on washing cars, watering lawns, and filling swimming pools, the water people did receive was rationed. “Day Zero” was announced when the city would run out of water. Since people cut their consumption by more than half, the day was postponed a number of times. Strong rains in June 2018 ended the crisis. Nonetheless, Capetown residents are restricted to 105 liters (26 gallons) of water per person per day. The issue was that the two nuclear power plants were using lots of scarce water. They have now been required to install ocean desalination plants for their water requirements.

Coal: South Africa has the seventh highest coal reserves in the world. In 2018, it exported $6.2 billion of coal, mostly to China, Japan, and India. Yet in 2008, 2015, and 2018, South Africa had “load shedding,” planned rolling backouts where parts of the country are routinely without power on a scheduled basis. This was because, due to mismanagement and corruption in Eskom, the public electricity utility, South Africa’s power stations were short of coal. South Africa has 17 coal-fired plants in operation producing 40,036 MW of electricity. Electric consumption has been flat or declining slightly in the last decade.

One of the problems with these coal plants is that many are old, needing repairs, and expensive to operate. In the next five years, two coal plants with 3,454 MW of capacity are scheduled to be retired, while from 2025 to 2030 seven coal plants with 7,822 MW of capacity are scheduled to be retired. There are two coal plants under construction for 6,800 MW of additional capacity, but they are already years behind schedule at substantially increased costs. The question then is, “Will renewable energy be able to fill the electricity deficit in the country?”

Renewables: South Africa has 2,096 MW of wind power currently providing electricity, 400 MW of concentrated solar power, and 1,479 MW of solar PV. This totals 3,975 MW or 7.3% of the total electric generation capacity.

What is most interesting is that as soon as the new Ramphosa government canceled the nuclear power plants, the government approved thousands of MW of renewable power. These included 2,097 MW of wind power, 200 MW of concentrated solar, and 1,094 of solar PV, totaling 3,391 MW of additional renewable energy. This will almost double the amount of wind/solar power in the next few years.

South Africa has a plan for energy projection to 2030. The additional generating capacity by that time would be 9.5 GW of wind, 6.8 GW of solar, 6.7 GW of coal, and 2.5 GW of hydropower. This, therefore, assumes that the two coal plants now under construction will be completed, but no more coal plants will be built. Hurrah!

Nonetheless, the 2030 projections still indicate that coal will provide 64% of the electricity produced. Wind would then be 13%, solar 8%, nuclear 4%, hydropower 3%, and gas 1%. This implies that the lifespan of the two current nuclear plants will be extended beyond their expiration date.

Over the next eleven years, even with the phaseout of 11,276 MW of coal capacity, the use of coal will decline by less that 10%. With the price of wind and solar declining each year, these goals seem to be without sufficient ambition. Boo! South Africa ought to do better than this.https://cleantechnica.com/2019/05/25/the-dance-of-nuclear-coal-renewables-in-south-africa/

David Zarembka I am a retired Quaker peace activist focusing on genocide, war, violent conflict, election violence, and refugees in Rwanda, Burundi, eastern Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and South Sudan. Since 2007, I have lived in a small town in western Kenya, called Lumakanda, in the home area of my Kenyan wife, Gladys Kamonya. I write a weekly blog called “Reports from Kenya” on current happenings in East Africa. To sign up for the weekly blog, contact me at davidzarembka@gmail.com.

May 27, 2019 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Mozambique hit again by a deadly cyclone

Deadly cyclone leaves trail of destruction across Mozambique, Aljazeera, 27 Apr 19
At least one killed as second powerful cyclone in six weeks strikes Mozambique. 
Cyclone Kenneth has killed at least one person and left a trail of destruction in northern Mozambique, destroying houses, ripping up trees and knocking out power, authorities said on Friday.

The cyclone brought storm surges and wind gusts of up to 280km per hour when it made landfall on Thursday evening, after killing three people in the island nation of Comoros.

It was the most powerful storm on record to hit Mozambique’s northern coast and came just six weeks after Cyclone Idai battered the impoverished nation, causing devastating floods and killing more than 1,000 people across a swath of Southern Africa.

The World Food Programme warned that Kenneth could dump as much as 600mm of rain on the region over the next 10 days – twice of that brought by Cyclone Idai …… https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/cyclone-kills-leaves-trail-destruction-mozambique-190426121837184.html

April 27, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, climate change | Leave a comment

Nuclear-Climate News – week to 14 April

On the surface, not much seems to be happening in nuclear news. Tensions between Pakistan and India have pulled back from the brink.  USA and North Korea remain at a nuclear stalemate, while South Korea tries for moderate progress. The mainstream media continues to regurgitate nuclear lobby propaganda about solving climate change, especially by developing small nuclear reactors.

The optimistic picture that’s often given of Chernobyl’s supposed recovery from the 1986 nuclear catastrophe has been thoroughly contradicted, as three new books reveal.  Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future by Kate Brown– details the dedicated research done in Belarus and Ukraine, on radiation effects, and draws attention to the pervasive and growing effects of ionising radiation, globally.  Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster– by Adam Higginbotham  describes the course of the disaster and investigates  the propaganda, secrecy, and myths that have obscured the truth on its effects. Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe– by Serhii Plokhy dramatically reconstructs the meltdown, and condemns the  USSR’s bureaucratic dysfunction, censorship, secrecy and mismanagement that preceded the disaster, and hindered the Soviet’s response to it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRu-Xs4U2r4All point to the danger of ionising radiation to the world, as nuclear activities continue, and the radioactive wastes accumulate.

Once again the twin threats of climate change and ionising radiation come together. As glaciers melt, ionising radiation, (from nuclear bomb testing) is released from ice surface sediments. Good news : how we could get (almost) all our energy from the sun by 2050.

The Threat of Nuclear War Is Still With Us,

Police drag Julian Assange from Embassy.  –Extradition of Julian Assange must be opposed. USA govt wants to silence all reports of govt atrocities.  Wikileaks has won many awards for fine journalism.  What Does Julian Assange’s Arrest Mean for Journalists?

EUROPE. Youth climate change protests across Europe.

JAPAN.

PAKISTAN. PAKISTAN’S Prime Minister Imran Khan issues warning on conflict with India, the nuclear danger. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFU_ez_naak&t=9s

USA. 

CANADA. SNC-Lavalin nuclear contracts at risk if it’s convicted.

CHINA. China opens fourth border crossing with North Korea, complete with radiation detectors.

FRANCE, The Flamanville EPR risks a new delay , catastrophic for EDF.

FINLAND. Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor – another delay after delays.

AUSTRALIA  Prime Minister  Scott Morrison says “no special help” Opposition leader Bill Shorten pleads ignorance of the matter.  ‘He uncovered war crimes’: Greens leader urges government  to protect Julian Assange, an Australian citizen.

April 14, 2019 Posted by | Christina's notes, Nigeria | 2 Comments

Concerns about radioactive waste incidents – Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI)

SAFCEI concerned at Koekerg nuclear power station ‘incidents’ Koeberg released radioactive waste into the environment in three separate incidents years ago. The Citizen, 7 Apr 19, 

The recent revelations by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan that three separate safety “incidents” had occurred at the Koeberg nuclear power station north of Cape Town in 2014 and 2015 should raise red flags for South African citizens, the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) said on Saturday.

“Not only is the executive decision to keep the public in the dark about these incidents problematic, but possible safety issues contradict the South African government’s assertion that nuclear energy is safe, clean, and a solution to climate change,” SAFSEI said in a statement……..

In the SAFCEI statement, Peter Becker of the Koeberg Alert Alliance said, “When something happens at Koeberg, the [NNR] decides whether it should be classed as an ‘incident’ or not. If it is an incident, they need to report on this and the public would be better informed. But, if they deem it to be less than an incident, then they do not need to report on it, and since the public is none the wiser, there would be no public outcry. The question is, how does the NNR decide what to report on and what to omit? And, shouldn’t citizens have some say in what the NNR is obliged to share with them?

“While the NNR’s 2014 annual report does mention ‘minor occurrences’, the 2015 report stated that there were no nuclear incidents reported during that period,” Becker said.

Government and the nuclear industry were “downplaying the dangers associated with nuclear energy production and have concealed incidents from the public”, SAFCEI’s executive director Francesca de Gasparis said in the statement.

“Not alerting the public to nuclear incidents is problematic because it gives a false picture of the realities of nuclear energy production. The issue of access to information, what information is available in the public realm, and who gets to decide what is shared is particularly risky when dealing with this kind of energy production. It makes us ask, once again, whether South Africa needs or wants nuclear energy as a part of its energy future?” De Gasparis said.

– African News Agency (ANA) https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/environment/2113171/safcei-concerned-at-koekerg-nuclear-power-station-incidents/

April 8, 2019 Posted by | incidents, South Africa | Leave a comment

A huge global wake-up call- the human devastation of climate change

Cyclone Idai: thousands still missing in Mozambique

The human devastation of climate change: Why Cyclone Idai should be a wake-up call for us all   https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-03-25-the-human-devastation-of-climate-change-why-cyclone-idai-should-be-a-wake-up-call-for-us-all/  

By Tessa Knight• 25 March 2019  

While many politicians, world leaders and big corporations speak about the future effects of climate change, poor and impoverished nations are already struggling to battle the consequences of rising global temperatures.  Hundreds of people have been confirmed dead in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe after Cyclone Idai tore through the southern African countries on 14 and 15 March. With wind speeds reaching up to 177km/h, the United Nations has said the cyclone is potentially one of the worst natural disasters to hit the region.

James Kambaki, head of field HR at Doctors Without Borders Southern Africa told Daily Maverick on Friday that the organisation can only reach the city of Beira, which was hardest-hit by Idai, by ship and by helicopter. According to Kambaki, 90% of the city’s infrastructure was destroyed, and much of it is still under water.

Jamie LeSueur, one of the first people to lead a team from the International Federation of Red Cross, said: “The situation is terrible. The scale of devastation is enormous.”

Although the storm itself tore through the country more than a week ago, the citizens of Mozambique were still struggling to survive its effects.

“Two days ago the people reported that their reservoir of clean, treated water would last another two or three days. It’s now the third day and they need clean water still,” said Kambaki when speaking of Beira, which has a population of about 500,000 people.

First responders describe seeing victims of the storm “stranded on rooftops, in trees and other elevated areas”, Unicef spokesperson Christophe Boulierac told BBC.

The cyclone has created a humanitarian catastrophe in both Beira and other parts of southern Africa hit by the storm. With thousands still missing or injured in some of the poorest places in the world, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi will probably feel the effects of Idai for years.

But according to environmental activists Noëlle Garcin and Glen Taylor-Davies, Idai is just the start of extreme weather patterns.

“Politicians speak of global warming as if it’s a future problem, but it’s already here, it’s already happening,” said Garcin, Project Manager of Action 24, a programme that forms part of the African Climate Reality Project, “and the poor are affected the most.”

According to Taylor-Davis, South African team leader for 350 Africa, the people who are causing climate change — big corporations that burn fossil fuels and governments that support coal mining and the extractive industry –are not affected by it.

“The poor aren’t causing the problem, but they bear the brunt of climate change. They are suffering from drought, they suffer the worst in storms because they just aren’t able to build houses that can withstand storms or escape to higher ground,” Taylor-Davis told Daily Maverick.

Both Garcin and Taylor-Davis agree that climate change is unjust. Although President Cyril Ramaphosa recently launched the Good Green Deed initiative, which encourages South Africans to do one good green action per day, ordinary citizens are not the root cause of climate change.

It has been well documented that 71% of greenhouse gas emissions are produced by just 100 companies. Although Garcin acknowledges that it is important for people to reduce their carbon footprint, placing the onus of climate change on regular people is not only unrealistic, it is also dangerous.

Mozambique is a prime example of the inequalities of global warming. The country ranks 180 out of 189 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index, which measures education, economic prosperity and life expectancy. The country contributes a measly 0.14% of global greenhouse gas emissions. According to the World Bank at least half of the population of Mozambique lives in poverty, with the divide between rich and poor quickly becoming more extreme. A legacy of colonialism and civil war has left the country unable to protect itself against extreme weather and rising ocean levels.

“Looking at Beira, this was a city that was absolutely not prepared to deal with such an event, and there are multiple reasons for that, but one of the main reasons is that it’s a poor area,” said Garcin.

“This cyclone is laying bare the fundamental injustices of climate change, and it’s something we need to talk about because this is just going to keep happening.”

Although many people, including US President Donald Trump, refuse to believe that climate change is real, the evidence is surely undeniable: Extreme weather disasters are becoming more prevalent around the world, be it Mozambique’s cyclone, South Africa’s drought or even the wildfires in California. DM

March 27, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, climate change | Leave a comment

Climate change brings more extreme weather – Mozambique is drowning

March 25, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Cyclone Idai Lays Bare Deadly Reality of Climate Change in Africa

https://allafrica.com/view/group/main/main/id/00066940.html  24 Mar 19, 

Although experts have said it was too early to draw specific conclusions from Idai, for a continent already wracked by the effects of climate change, the Tropical Cyclone has been another chilling reminder of the destructive power of the kind of storms that will become more common in the future. It has been described as the worst weather-related disaster to hit the southern hemisphere, and the UN says more than 2 million people have been affected.

A week after Tropical Cyclone IDAI “massacred” the center of Mozambique, there are still people under siege in the trees and on the roofs of houses in the provinces of Sofala and Manica.

“The affected area is much larger than we thought, there are almost 125 kilometers of flood areas” said Saviano Abreu of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The location of 92 more corpses raised the number of fatalities to 294.

In Nhamatanda in Sofala province 47 bodies were found. Government official Toze Joseph said that there are other communities under water with which communication is impossible

The remaining 45 bodies were located and removed at Dombes administrative post in Sussundenga, Manica province.

In the neighboring province of Manica other 45 bodies were removed from the water at the Administrative office of Dombe in Sussendenga district, said the governor Manuel Rodrigues.

Since Tuesday, March 19, the Government has not publicly updated the number of affected people or fatalities.

“We are still updating the numbers. When the flood waters subside, more bodies will be discovered. When I addressed the nation and world, I said the numbers of dead will increase and that is what is happening,” said President Philip Nyusi in Tete.

Nyusi had earlier said that the number of deaths could rise to a thousand.

This is a translation from the original article on Verdade.

March 25, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, climate change | Leave a comment

Energy expert dismisses Zuma’s nuclear deal comment

https://www.enca.com/news/energy-expert-rubbishes-zumas-nuclear-deal-comment 23 March 2019 – JOHANNESBURG – Former President Jacob Zuma has defended a proposed nuclear energy deal, saying it would’ve solved Eskom’s crisis.

Zuma said the country would have spent trillions over a short period, but it would have been able to make returns.

But energy expert Tobias Bischof-Niemz disagrees with Zuma, saying the process could have taken about ten years, leaving the country in crisis till 2023.

The nuclear project that was in discussion for years stems from the integrated nuclear plan.

“As for that plan, the first reactor would have come online in 2023,” said Bischof-Niemz.

“Even if we had implemented the IRP 2010, the first reactor would come online in four years from now.”

March 25, 2019 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Southern Africa: they’ve had cyclones before, but climate change increases the intensity

Cyclone Idai: The worst humanitarian crisis in Mozambique’s history | DW News

‘Bodies are floating’: Cyclone Idai leaves trail of destruction with more than a million affected, news.com.au Stephanie Bedo and Ben Graham, MARCH 20, 2019

They can’t even count the dead in a city of 500,000 people as chilling images show the unprecedented disaster is far from over.

Countless people have been killed and almost a million left destitute after what could be one of the worst weather-related disasters in the southern hemisphere.

A national disaster has been declared after Cyclone Idai left a trail of death, destruction and homelessness in southern Africa.

Where once streets teemed with life, only the swamped shells of homes are left in the wake of the devastation that has affected millions in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Footage taken from the skies over Mozambique’s central port city of Beira, a city of half a million people, shows there is no discernible trace of life left.

More than 90 per cent of the city was destroyed as 170km/h winds tore across southeastern Africa, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

If the worst fears are realised … then we can say that it is one of the worst weather-related disasters, tropical-cyclone-related disasters in the southern hemisphere,” said Clare Nullis of the UN World Meteorological Organisation.

Emergency workers called it the region’s most destructive flooding in 20 years, and heavy rains are expected to continue until Thursday. In the low-lying coastal city of Beira, the water has nowhere to drain. “This is not going to go away quickly,” Ms Nullis said.

In Mozambique, the rapidly rising floodwaters created “an inland ocean,” endangering tens of thousands of families, aid workers said as they scrambled to rescue survivors and airdrop food, water and blankets to survivors.

Those left clinging to life amid the ruins could be battered by eight-metre waves during high tides over the coming days. Herve Verhoosel of the World Food Program said the crisis “is getting bigger by the hour”.

…. The official death toll of Cyclone Idai — the deadliest storm in generations to hit Mozambique and Zimbabwe — more than doubled to more than 350 overnight, but that is expected to rise again, dramatically.

…… The waters of the Pungue and Buzi rivers overflowed, making whole villages disappear and isolating communities, and bodies are floating,” said Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi.

Mr Nyusi said Idai, which ripped through the impoverished southeast African country of 30 million people on Thursday, was a “disaster of great proportions”.

The cyclone struck the Indian Ocean city of Beira late that day and then moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi, with strong winds and torrential rain lashing the region.

But it has taken days for the scope of the disaster to begin to emerge in Mozambique, which has a poor communication and transportation network and a corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy.

……United Nations officials said on Tuesday that more than 2.6 million people had been affected and $28 million had been allocated to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi from its emergency response fund. …….. https://www.news.com.au/world/africa/more-than-1000-feared-dead-from-cyclone-in-mozambique/news-story/193caf3fb1ac18040e2891964f969e27

March 21, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, climate change | Leave a comment

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma regime went all out for nuclear power, with secretive manipulations

Necsa’s financial fissures required dealing with the hangover of Zuma’s nuclear push, Daily Maverick, By Marianne Merten• 6 March 2019 

Preparing for the bonanza of a new nuclear build that never came emerged as a key reason for the financial ruptures at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation Ltd (Necsa), Parliament’s energy committee heard on Tuesday.

The impact of the push of former president Jacob Zuma’s administration for nuclear power was highlighted when the Necsa board and officials briefed MPs on its annual report – tabled months after the statutory September deadline in 2018, with 12 disclaimers and doubts over its status as a going concern.

The Jacob Zuma administration, and going big on nuclear with an extra 9,6 GigaWatts, are inextricably linked since his second term after the 2014 elections. And the opposition of National Treasury to the nuclear deal, widely costed at R1-trillion, is at the heart of the politics of State Capture, including the sacking of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene in December 2015 when he refused to endorse a nuclear deal with Russia.

As recently as 18 February 2019 the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture heard about the behind-the-scenes machinations when former National Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile confirmed earlier testimony from two former finance ministers he had worked with – Nene, and Pravin Gordhan, who today is public enterprises minister.

At one meeting called to discuss the nuclear deal, Fuzile testified as to how Gordhan insisted that “every rule in the book” would have to be followed if the country were to proceed with a nuclear deal.

“He (Gordhan) told him (Zuma) this was important because failure to do that would turn the arms deal problems into a Sunday school picnic.”

But he added at a later stage: “It would seem that people had other interests.”………

At this stage, it is unclear how the Necsa board intents not only to cut the salary bill, but also turn the SOE’s fortunes around. The board has been given a two-month extension to submit its strategic plan by April 2019.

The reality is that there will be no new nuclear build. In July 2018, on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, Ramaphosa told Russian President Vladimir Putin there would be no nuclear deal as South Africa could not afford it, as it was widely reported. Feathers were ruffled and smoothed back into place, for now, by all accounts.

But for Necsa, the hangover of the second Zuma administration’s nuclear push must now be dealt with. https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-03-06-necsas-financial-fissures-required-dealing-with-the-hangover-of-zumas-nuclear-push/

March 7, 2019 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

No nuclear power future for South Africa

March 7, 2019 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment