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Nuclear energy for Uganda – a bad option

January 11, 2020 Posted by | AFRICA, politics | Leave a comment

Hazards of Russia’s nuclear colonialism- example South Africa

costly projects such as the one pushed by Zuma typically make little economic sense for the purchasing country
heavily subsidized projects pursued mainly for geopolitical reasons risk saddling Russia’s nuclear power monopoly Rosatom with burdens it can ill afford.
Nuclear Enrichment: Russia’s Ill-Fated Influence Campaign in South Africa, Russia squandered close ties with the South African government by overplaying its hand and getting caught up in a corrupt nuclear energy pact. Carnegie Endowment For International Peace  (thoroughly researched and referenced) 16 Dec 19,

SUMMARY

Amid the widespread attention the Kremlin’s recent inroads in Africa have attracted, there has been surprisingly little discussion of South Africa, a country which, for nearly a decade, unquestionably represented Russia’s biggest foreign policy success story on the continent. As relations soared during the ill-starred presidency of Jacob Zuma (2009–2018), the Kremlin sought to wrest a geopolitically significant state out of the West’s orbit and to create a partnership that could serve as a springboard for expanded influence elsewhere in Africa. Continue reading

December 17, 2019 Posted by | marketing, politics international, Russia, South Africa | 1 Comment

South Africa to create extra space for nuclear waste

Business Times, WED, NOV 27, 2019 [JOHANNESBURG] Radioactive waste storage facilities at South Africa’s nuclear power station Koeberg will fill up next year, the power utility Eskom said Tuesday, adding it has begun creating extra space.

South Africa is the only country on the continent with a civilian nuclear industry, and its two reactors have been in service for more than 30 years.

The Koeberg nuclear power plant, located outside Cape Town, produces 1,860 megawatts contributing about four percent of the national power output.

Eskom in a statement that its “spent fuel pools are essentially full in 2020 and for this reason a project was initiated to create additional space”…….

Koeberg was originally set to be mothballed in 2024, four decades after its inception, but it is being upgraded and it is now expected to operate until 2044.

Environmental campaigners have warned against the nuclear project.

“It is incredibly short-sighted for the government to pursue extending Koeberg’s lifespan, potentially at the expense of our safety,” Melita Steele, Greenpeace Africa’s Climate and Energy Campaign Manager said Tuesday.

“Not only are South Africans going to have to fork out more money for more storage for high-level radioactive waste, but there is also no long-term solution for this waste, which can remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years,” Ms Steele said.

Currently, 90 per cent of the country’s electricity is generated from coal-fired stations.

The government last year dropped controversial plans to build new nuclear power stations, deals that had been initiated by former leader Jacob Zuma and that could have bankrupted the country to enrich his allies. https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/energy-commodities/south-africa-to-create-extra-space-for-nuclear-waste

November 28, 2019 Posted by | South Africa, wastes | Leave a comment

South Africa’s nuclear waste storage almost completely full; a dangerous situation

Waste storage at Africa’s only nuclear plant brimming, Channel News Asia, 25 Nov 19, CAPE TOWN: Spent fuel storage at South Africa’s Koeberg nuclear plant will reach full capacity by April as state power utility Eskom awaits regulatory approval for new dry storage casks, the company said on Monday (Nov 25).

Storage of high-level radioactive waste is a major environmental concern in the region, as South Africa looks to extend Koeberg’s life for another two decades and mulls extra nuclear power plants.

Koeberg, Africa’s only nuclear facility, is situated about 35km from Cape Town and was connected to the grid in the 1980s under apartheid.

“The Koeberg spent fuel pool storage capacity is currently over 90 per cent full. (These) pools will reach (their) capacity by April 2020,” Eskom told Reuters in a statement.

Koeberg produces about 32 tonnes of spent fuel a year. Fuel assemblies, which contain radioactive materials including uranium and plutonium that can remain dangerous for thousands of years, are cooled for a decade under water in spent fuel pools….

Anti-nuclear lobby group Earthlife Africa said South Africa could not afford the social, environmental and economic costs associated with nuclear waste.

“We have a ticking bomb with high-level waste and fuel rods at Koeberg,” said Makoma Lekalakala, Earthlife Africa’s director.   https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/waste-storage-at-africa-s-only-nuclear-plant-brimming-12123664  brimming-12123664

November 26, 2019 Posted by | South Africa, wastes | Leave a comment

The push for nuclear power in Africa, but what happens to the wastes?

November 14, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, wastes | Leave a comment

African countries being conned into nuclear debt, by Russia

African countries rush to sign nuclear deals with Russia, Daily Maverick By Peter Fabricius• 29 October 2019

But concerns are being raised about whether they can all afford nuclear energy.

The Russian nuclear power corporation Rosatom has already signed nuclear cooperation agreements with about 18 African counties, as Russia accelerates its drive for nuclear business on the continent.

The growing commitment of African countries to high capital cost nuclear energy has raised some concern about whether they are committing themselves to unaffordable debt.

Rosatom director-general Alexey Likhachev revealed a large number of nuclear agreements with African countries after signing an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy with the Ethiopian Minister of Innovation and Technology, Getahun Mekuria Kuma, during the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi on the Black Sea last week.

Mekuria later told the Russian official news agency Tass that Ethiopia had plants to build a nuclear power plant.

Rosatom later also signed an agreement with Rwanda at the summit on cooperation for the construction of a centre of nuclear science and technology in Rwanda. Rosatom had a strong presence at the economic forum which paralleled the political summit. The Rosatom stand attracted scores of interested African government officials on the sidelines of the forum. …..

Likhachev told journalists after the discussion that Rosatom had now signed memoranda of understanding or intergovernmental agreements with about one-third of countries on the continent – about 18. He could not say how many of these were about scientific cooperation and how many were about producing nuclear energy “because very often those two tracks go hand in hand”.

But he did say in the discussion that about half of the African countries with which Rosatom had signed nuclear agreements were actively discussing joint projects with the corporation, which had been stipulated in contracts. The most advanced joint project is with Egypt, which has contracted Rosatom to build a 4,800MW nuclear power plant……

“We are ready to propose to Ethiopia cutting-edge solutions of nuclear technology. And our Ethiopian partners are invited to visit nuclear facilities in our country.

“Apart from larger capacity nuclear power plants, we also stand ready to offer smaller capacity, modular reactors.”

……..However, the apparent rush to nuclear energy by African countries has raised some concerns that they may be committing themselves to high capital costs of nuclear power production which they will be unable to afford.

Analysts have noted that even South Africa, one of the top two economies on the continent, backed away from an apparent commitment by former president Jacob Zuma to order 9,600MW of nuclear power plant production from Rosatom – at an estimated cost of about R1-trillion.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said after meeting Putin on the sidelines of the summit that the Russian president had once again asked him if South Africa was still interested in building a nuclear power plant and he had told him once again that it still could not afford to.

An African minister at the summit told Daily Maverick that although power plants could be an important source of economic growth, African countries were sinking further into debt and had to be careful to ensure they could afford the infrastructure they built.

Likhachev defended nuclear energy as an economical source of electricity over the long term. ……….

Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwandan minister in charge of the East African community  would not be drawn on the cost and affordability implications, saying the details of the agreement would be announced in due course. https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-10-29-african-countries-rush-to-sign-nuclear-deals-with-russia/

October 31, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia’s Rosatom nuclear firm targets its marketing at African countries

Russia’s State-Owned Nuclear Giant Is Targeting Africa for its Growth

By Paul Burkhardt   October 30, 2019, 
  •  Russian developer has signed over a dozen agreements in Africa
  •  Various financing options being considered for the plant build

Rosatom Corp., is eyeing Africa as one of its “priority regions” to build more nuclear reactors and expand its business……(Subscribers only) https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-30/russia-s-rosatom-focuses-on-africa-for-its-nuclear-expansion

October 31, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing | Leave a comment

No nuclear in South Africa’s future energy mix

South Africa’s future energy mix: wind, solar and coal, but no nuclear, The Conversation, Hartmut Winkler Professor of Physics, University of Johannesburg, October 30, 2019   South Africa has a new energy plan which covers 2019 to 2030. It follows cabinet’s recent adoption of a new Integrated Resource Plan for electricity generation.

The plan – which builds on a relatively well-received draft announced last year – makes some significant advances in changing South Africa’s energy mix. For example, it significantly ups the contribution of wind as well as solar power to South Africa’s overall energy allocation. The production of power from wind is expected to grow by 900% by 2030, and power from solar photovoltaic by 560%……

Ultimately economic realities dictate that coal and nuclear cannot compete with renewable technologies. These are already much cheaper, and their cost continues to drop by the year.

Even with maximum political will, a nuclear build cannot be realised without convincing investors and the public that it makes economic sense. It doesn’t……..https://theconversation.com/south-africas-future-energy-mix-wind-solar-and-coal-but-no-nuclear-111106

October 31, 2019 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Misuse of funds in South Africa”s nuclear reactor project

Is this outfit similar to Australia’s ANSTO and its Lucas Heights reactor?   They both seem like mavericks running their own show without accountability

Explosive letter sent to Parliament’s energy oversight committee by Necsa board, https://www.ee.co.za/article/exposed-financial-mismanagement-at-sas-nuclear-energy-corporation.html
October 28th, 2019, by Chris Yelland, investigative editor, EE Publishers   An explosive letter, dated 17 October 2019, from the current Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) board to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Minerals and Energy, reveals startling new information relating to the misuse of Necsa’s funds by the former board under fired former chairman Kelvin Kemm and former CEO Phumzile Tshelane.

The letter reveals that Necsa has been making massive operating losses since 2014, which have deteriorated over the years, and has resulted in various ring-fenced funds being irregularly used to meet operating expenses, including salaries.

For example, the letter says that in financial year (FY) 2018/19, Necsa raided R268-million from the Safari low-enriched uranium (LEU) spent Fuel Waste Disposal Fund, which was meant for future disposal of spent nuclear fuel waste, in order to meet operating costs.

The Safari-1 reactor became one of Necsa’s cornerstone facilities, especially during the mid 1990’s, where it’s main application was to be a cost-sustainable facility operating as a commercial production facility of radioisotopes and the rendering of irradiation services.

Furthermore, in FY 2017/18, the letter indicates that Necsa borrowed R58,5-million from its subsidiary, NTP Radioisotopes, which was to be repaid in 2019, but was subsequently unilaterally extended to 2021 when it became clear that Necsa could not afford to repay NTP Radioisotopes.

In FY 2016/17, Necsa is said to have used R100-million of investments of the Safari LEU Spent Fuel Waste Disposal Fund as security for a R100-million overdraft facility from Nedbank, which the bank later withdrew due to the absence of a turnaround strategy to address Necsa’s strained financial position.

This, according to the letter, then forced Necsa to raid R100-million from the Safari LEU Spent Fuel Waste Disposal Fund to meet operating costs, and this R100-million was later repaid to the Fund from government grant funding.

The effect of the unconventional funding interventions in previous years, says the letter, was that about R445-million of ring-fenced funds were used for operations, despite being meant for other purposes, thus negatively affecting Necsa’s liquidity and solvency.

The letter further says that Necsa has been technically bankrupt since about 2016, and has survived using ring-fenced funds, which has cumulatively had an impact on the going concern status on the entity – a challenge which the current board is now faced with.

This letter from the new Necsa board to Parliament follows a damning audit report by the Auditor General of South Africa detailing the maladministration and irregular expenditure under the former Necsa board. The qualified audit report was attached Necsa’s financial statements for FY 2017/18, which were tabled about six months late by the former board.

Necsa’s financial statements for FY 2018/19 are also late, as the new board grapples with the political turmoil and disruptive actions by labour union NEHAWU. It is expected that there will be further explosive revelations by the Auditor General.

The entire former board of Necsa was removed by the former minister of energy, Jeff Radebe, in December 2018, and there is ongoing litigation in this regard.

 

October 29, 2019 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa | Leave a comment

Desertification and Drought – Sahara

October 26, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, climate change | 1 Comment

China buried nuclear waste in Sudan desert

Official: China buried nuclear waste in Sudan desert, Dabanga November 12 – 2015 KHARTOUMChina 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 quoted by several local reporters, of whom some did not mention China, but ‘an Asian country’ instead. During the conference, titled ‘Raising awareness of the danger of chemicals’, Siddig said that a ‘number of Asian industrial countries’ had approached African countries to dispose their nuclear and other toxic waste…….https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/official-china-buried-nuclear-waste-in-sudan-s-desert?fbclid=IwAR1ScnDQ-6EcDBv2m2EhIqjnunbBnCpt5Ell_xuiNgFAhQapNqR0dF1ykMI

October 6, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, China, wastes | Leave a comment

Russia trying to market nuclear power to Uganda (or to anybody, really)

Uganda says Russia to help it develop nuclear energy, KAMPALA (Reuters) 18 Sept 19, – Uganda said on Wednesday it had signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with Russia to help the East African country build capacity to exploit nuclear technology for energy, medical and other peaceful purposes.The government of President Yoweri Museveni has previously said it is eager to use the country’s uranium deposits to boost energy production capacity.

In May last year Uganda also signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) to help Uganda build capacity in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.

In an emailed statement, Uganda’s energy ministry said the IGA with Russia was signed in Vienna on Tuesday between Energy Minister Irene Muloni and Nikolai Spasskiy, the deputy director general of Russian state corporation ROSATOM……….

Reporting by Elias Biryabarema in Kampala; Editing by Matthew Lewis https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uganda-russia/uganda-says-russia-to-help-it-develop-nuclear-energy-idUSKBN1W328N

 

September 19, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia Spreads Influence in Africa Using Nuclear Power

Russia Spreads Influence in Africa Using Nuclear Power – Reports, Moscow Times, 30 Aug 19, Russia is working to win influence in at least 10 African states with high-cost nuclear technology that for the most part does not suit their needs, researchers and NGOs have told The Guardian newspaper.

With booming exports, nuclear energy is one example of Russia’s increasing presence in Africa in recent years. Elsewhere, a businessman known as “Putin’s chef,” Yevgeny Prigozhin, is widely reported to be spearheading Russia’s push to exchange security and electioneering services for mining rights in Africa.

Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom has approached the leaders of “dozens” of African countries with various nuclear energy projects in the past two years, The Guardian reported Wednesday. Rosatom has existing deals with Egypt and Nigeria and other various agreements with other countries on the continent.

Few African countries have the capacity to distribute the amount of nuclear energy generated by the type of reactors that Rosatom is exporting, experts told the outlet. Observers also noted that the costly projects favored by Rosatom likely wouldn’t benefit Africa’s poorest populations…….. https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/08/29/russia-spreads-influence-in-africa-using-nuclear-power-reports-a67077

August 31, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

South Africa scraps Russian nuclear plant plans

South Africa scraps Russian nuclear plant plans

Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said this week that South Africa is still in the market for nuclear energy, provided it can be purchased economically.

The financially hamstrung Electricity Supply Commission is becoming a millstone around the exchequer’s neck, by failing to meet its crippling debt burden…… http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20190824-south-africa-cancel-russia-nuclear-plant-order-economy-ramaphosa

August 26, 2019 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

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

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