News24

Activists slam SA nuclear decision

2011-09-16 11:31

Cape Town - Environmental groups have slammed the government's decision to build nuclear plants, saying it will not lead to energy security for South Africa.

"As for nuclear energy as being our answer to whatever Eskom thinks it will be, that's not entirely true. If Eskom is concerned with electricity security, energy security and safe electricity supply, nuclear is not going to be able to provide that," Ferial Adams of Greenpeace Africa told News24.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters announced on Thursday that the building process to build new nuclear plants which would produce 9 600MW, would begin by 2012.

"If you look at Finland and France which is the model South Africa wants to use, there've been so many delays. Each delay costs them about a billion euros a year.

"So in terms of a safe energy supply, by the time we get nuclear it won't be the right thing. Given the time constrains, it just makes sense to then now [to] invest in renewable energy," said Adams.

Base load energy

SA experienced rolling blackouts in 2008 when Eskom had trouble meeting demand and there have been suggestions that the country would need to build coal-fired power stations to provide base load energy demands.

Eskom suggested that nuclear power was required to account for base load energy supply. This is defined as the minimum amount of energy a utility must supply to meet demand.

"The fact of the matter is that nuclear power is neither cheap, nor quick, nor safe. Even if nuclear one was approved tomorrow, it would take about 12 years before it came online, so it would hardly be relevant to the so-called current electricity crisis," said Muna Lakhani, Cape Town branch co-ordinator for Earthlife Africa.

As SA prepares to host the COP 17 climate conference where activists expect a commitment to reducing pollution from the burning of fossil fuels, utilities have said that nuclear power was better able to cope with expanding energy demand, while reducing atmospheric emissions.

But Greenpeace said that the reliance on base load was flawed and that nuclear plants around the world were subject to delays because of safety and regulatory requirements.

"Big utilities around the world have been punting the issue of base load, and saying that we need base load that’s why we can’t move away from things, and then saying that nuclear is the answer to that.

"Base load is not the most sustainable way of us using our energy. We actually lose a lot of our energy supply and Greenpeace has come out with our Energy Revolution, where we show that actually, you don’t really need base load for our electricity supply to work," said Adams.

Renewable energy

She said that SA needed to diversify its energy mix to create the best possible reliability.

"There's a lot of old school in [the way] we're doing things as South Africa. We're saying that decentralised energy supply makes more sense.

"So even if you have a problem in one area, you're not cutting out many parts of the grid or almost half the country like happened in 2008.

"It also allows for the diversification of your energy supply. When you're dependant of one type of energy supply or like we are in South Africa, 95% comes from coal, then you're kind of dependant on specific sources."

Greenpeace said that SA should have a more focused approach to renewable energy in order to move the country away from fossil fuels.

"Of course we're not going to say tomorrow we must shut down all the coal-fired power stations, but we're saying there must be a just transition to get to a point where we can be more dependent on renewable energy," said Adams.

Consumption

Lakhani said that the South African economy was in need of reform so that industries that used a greater portion of the electricity consumption were limited.

"We have a situation where one company, BHB Billiton, uses 10% of the electricity. That's an awful lot when you consider all 50 million of us use only 18% and they create a few thousand jobs.

"So I don't see the economic or social or environmental value of having business like that. So we need to change the way the economy works."


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Comments
  • pop101 - 2011-09-16 11:42

    If you look at Finland and France which is the model South Africa wants to use, there've been so many delays. Each delay costs them about a billion euros a year.....aaah, but France makes 2 billion back from Germany buying power from France plants after Germany went Green.

      Jeeva - 2011-09-16 11:51

      Just look at the wind turbines outside Malmesbury, Cape Town. They have stopped running the blades, since it costs more to upkeep the turbines than the selling price of the electricity.

      letsee - 2011-09-16 12:10

      I'm all for green but I need to live too. How long before renewable energy is available and what to do in the meanwhile?

      Valis - 2011-09-16 13:26

      The delays are actually due to these ignorant, superstitious, backwards-looking "environmental groups" holding up construction because of their ignorance and fear of things they don't understand. They're as bad as the religious people! And to all the ignoramuses who are now going to preach at me about the dangers of nuclear power; Tell me one thing, how many people died from the Fukushima nuclear "disaster"? Hm? None you say? That's right, not one single person died after these nuclear plants were hit by an earthquake AND a tsunami. This clearly demonstrates the safety of nuclear power. On the other hand, 200 000 people die *every year* from conventional power plants. That's two hundred thousand people every single year! Now tell me again about the dangers of nuclear :P

      (YNPL) Youth in need of a proper leader - 2011-09-16 13:47

      I partially agree with you guys, but you guys should take time to research the dangers of nuclear power, and coment again!

      Succubus - 2011-09-16 15:10

      (YNPL) Youth in need of a proper leader, People who are against nuclear power are the ones who should research the dangers of other methods of creating power. To date, nuclear power offers both the safest and cleanest form of energy production, ...by a very long margin on both counts, and this includes all the fatalities, health issues and and environmental impact associated with both Chernobyl and Fukushima. Most, correct that, 'every' person I've ever spoken to who thinks that nuclear power is dangerous, has not research enough about the other methods of producing power to know that both solar power and wind power are actually both more dangerous in terms of fatalities per TWh of energy produced than nuclear, as well as both solar and wind being almost infinity more harmful to the environment than nuclear. Wind farms especially, impose a significant negative net impact on the environment, where as nuclear power imposes almost zero negative net impact on the environment, including nuclear waste management. Over 90% of all power on this plant is produced by coal power plants, but coal power is the most dangerous form of energy production in existence, and has caused some where in the order of 25,000%+ more damage to the environment than nuclear since the begining of the industrial age. Why are there no hippies complaining about Coal power plants? So, it is actually the anti nuclear zealots who need to go do some more research before commenting.

      Coconut - 2011-09-19 15:38

      Under no circumstances must we allow these uneducated hippie groups to further delay the expansion of nuclear plants in SA. We've heard their arguments a thousand times, and they're clearly over emotional, wishful thinking, unrealistic, anti-reality, lala-land, dope smoking ignoramuses.

  • DEVILS SON - 2011-09-16 11:46

    you cannot reason with idiots

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 12:08

      Yeah - they tend to drag you down to their level and beat you with their greater experience . . .

      DEVILS SON - 2011-09-16 12:13

      lmao yeah they do

  • Jeeva - 2011-09-16 11:48

    People that reason against nuclear power should please remove themselves from society. Driving off a cliff is a good start. k thx

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 12:04

      Should people that reason like Jeeva be pushed off a cliff . . .

      Succubus - 2011-09-16 14:52

      We need more people like Jeeva. There are to many hippies infesting our planet and they are getting in the way of both progress, and ironically, our ability to progress safely and cleanly. Nuclear power is to date the safest and cleanest form of power production. It is the safest in terms of both direct fatalities and indirect health related issues. And this includes all fatalities and indirect health related issues associated with both the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents. Wind farms are particularly dangerous and are responsible for over 3 times more deaths per TWh than nuclear power plants, ...including fatalities related to Chernobyl. Over 90% of all power on earth is produced by coal power plants. Coal power plants are by far one of the most deadly industrial energy producing objects on the planet, responsible for over 161 deaths per TWh, compared to Nuclear, which is currently the safest at only 0.04 deaths per TWh. All three of solar, wind and hydro electric power plants are each individually responsible for many times the number of deaths per TWh than nuclear. Nuclear power also poses the least net negative impact on the environment. Coal power and wind power are responsible for the greatest net negative impact on the environment. Nuclear waist also takes up an almost insignificant amount of space and imposes, so far, zero negative impact on the environment. So I say, kill all hippies, they are polluting our planet with their ignorance and stupidity.

  • jeremy - 2011-09-16 11:49

    I hear a lot of complaints about nuclear/coal-fired plants from environmentalists, but very little in the way of genuine alternatives. If you want to convince me that "green" alternatives really work, then give me specifics as to how this will be achieved. And I don't want to see the Karoo filled with windmills and solar panels!

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 12:05

      @jeremy - and i dont want to see our coasline filled with nuclear generators . . . . . .

      pop101 - 2011-09-16 12:11

      Or wind tubines

      Agent Bastad - 2011-09-16 12:21

      We should be investing in karma and granola powered reactors.

      werner.smidt - 2011-09-19 14:54

      Who's this Blougroen guy? Isn't Blougroen the kleur you turn into two weeks after a fatal masturphyxiation attempt?

  • Darter - 2011-09-16 11:53

    Please explain (from an engineering point of view) how you're going to run a steel smelter on wind or solar energy? It all boils down to power output. What happens when winds are too low or too strong? Do we stop production? Which part of Gauteng (industrial zone) is suitable for wind energy? I doubt the majority of Greenpeace members have opened an engineering textbook....ever

      Oryx_ZA - 2011-09-16 12:21

      The irony is that Nuclear energy is clean energy....but in a different manner. When a nuke plant runs correctly, it is far cleaner and less environmental damaging then wind generators and solar alternatives. If you want to achieve the same output with either of those alternatives...consider how much land you would need....plus they are geographically dependent. So what happens when we set up a huge solar and wind farm in the geographical sensitive Karroo. Now I’m not considering the risk of leaks and of course the disposal of the waste...but i honestly believe that these challenges can be addressed more easily then creating an entirely new type of energy source. Another irony is that part of the reason for escalating nuclear costs and lead times are due to tighter restrictions on the manufacture process. I agree that these need to be HEAVILY regulated...but government are not investing in these types of process due to the green movement and consequently expenses and lead times increases. Then a basis for a greenies argument is nuke energy is becoming less cost effective and has longer lead times. Typical self-fulfilling prophesy

      Piet pompies - 2011-09-16 12:50

      @ Blougroen STOP being an emotional hippie, Darter is wright, do you know how many wind turbines you need to make 9.6 GW of power, the worlds larges can generate 3.8 MW which means you need about 2500 of these to do the same as the nuclear power station, The low sonic vibrations of the turbines is also a health concern, solar panels also have a low generation capacity and consumes more power to produce than it can produce in its life time. Other solar options also have inadequate power generation where the biggest solar power plant which is being constructed in the USA is a mere 900 MW. Nuclear is better!!!!

      Darter - 2011-09-16 12:53

      Please save us the time. WHICH alternatives method can be used to power a steel smelter? Solar? Wind? Which one? How will it be connected to the grid? Direct current? Alternating Current? Single phase? Three phase? Costs? etc etc....the nuclear power plants will be long complete before you solve all the problems involved with "alternative" methods

      Bones - 2011-09-16 12:54

      It would seem that this "Bloegroen" (Which incidently looks like the stuff that comes out of my kids nose now and then)really has nothing to offer. Another of these Greenpeace / earthlife bumbling idiots.

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 12:57

      @piet Pompies - Actually the biggest solar plant inm the US is the Blythe LSP plant - 2000MW - bigger than most nuclear plants with a footprint about 7 times larger than a nuclear plant and a fraction of the costs. And have you heard of supergrids - even copper thgieves know you can transport electricity to where it is needed . . . .

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 13:02

      @ Darter - go Google

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 13:03

      @Bones - the second posting above about idiots refers . . .

      Hannes - 2011-09-16 13:08

      Darter - can you only analyse and not provide solution(s) to the problem? And '...from an enginering point...' are you one, and what is more what is your personal answer to the problem? If each source has it problems, what is the best and why? So ... why criticise if you can not add anything positive?

      pop101 - 2011-09-16 13:12

      Their webpage says it a 1000MW

      pop101 - 2011-09-16 13:18

      And this. http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2011/06/22/salazar-applauds-but-solar-project-output-will-be-a-fraction-of-its-competitors/

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 13:21

      @Pop101 - yeah - nice little plant ne

      Belatu - 2011-09-16 13:27

      @BlouGroen, You are naive, to power South Africa with Solar we would need to cover approx 50% of the entire African Continent With Solar Panels, today's technology just isn't up to the task. Wind powers isn't much better and Maintenance costs are incredibly high. As for Super-grids, you obviously heard the term somewhere and have no idea how one works. to transport power over the vast distances solar power would require you would need to boost the voltage up to 200,000 volts or more, considering that the average solar panel produces a 12v supply it's virtually impossible.a 12v supply will only travel a short distance before the wire resistance consumes the entire supply, unless we use pure gold for the wires. Do us all a favour stop posting emotional drivel and either contribute a realworld alternative or stop badgering those who have some common sense. and no "the answer is out there" is not a valid alternative. for the record, my Home is as green as possible, every appliance is bought based on its Ebergy rating, I use Solar to supply a portion of my daily kwh, I'm planning on erecting a Wind Turbine as soon as I get council approval, I recycle, compost etc. and still I beleive that at this point Nuclear is the only true alternative to us.

      Valis - 2011-09-16 13:30

      @Blougroen: You lying moron! How many fatalities were caused by the Fukushima incident? Come on, how many? One? Two? A thousand? Nope...ZERO! Not one single fatality, not a single one! That clearly demonstrates the safety of nuclear power, despite your display of ignorance and hysteria.

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 13:32

      @Pop 101 - yeah 1000MW - still bigger than most nuclear power stations And check this out - www.ipcc.ch - the Intergovernmental panel on climate change recons 80% of worlds energy resources can be met by renewable resources - it could of course be higher if there is a bit more committment

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 13:36

      @Belatu - yeah like the planned european supergrid system that will span nearly 10 timezones . . . .

      Oryx_ZA - 2011-09-16 13:36

      @Blougroen please read Pop101 comment carefully....he is saying that the output is half what you said it is...and posted another articular saying that is will produce a fraction of it competitors. So it will be the fraction of the costs by producing a fraction of the electricity? are we seeing what we want to see?

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 13:37

      @Valis - yeah - how many people had to leave their homes - yeah - how many . . . .

      Belatu - 2011-09-16 13:40

      @BlouGroen, Yes like the like the planned european supergrid system that will span nearly 10 timezones, which is a concept in development, "IT DOES NOT EXIST" it's pie in the sky.

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 13:52

      @Belatu - and how do you feel; about the existing synchronous grid of Continental Europe . . . . ???

      pop101 - 2011-09-16 15:36

      Blougroen, First you said 2000MW, then you said 1000MW. You sound exactly like the IPCC.

      David de Bruyn - 2011-09-18 20:25

      @ everyone tuning Blougroen: Once again, you all attack Blougroen. Then I read things like this, without anyone saying anything: "considering that the average solar panel produces a 12v supply it's virtually impossible" (to use on high voltage lines). Have any of you ever heard of a transformer?! Do you seriously think the current coming off of a nuclear turbine at line voltage? No. I gets transformed to line voltage! I'm not saying solar is a viable alternative, but how can you attack someone when you have little idea of how electricity works? Why not ask intelligent questions rather than making stupid comments if you don't understand?

  • Mad Hatter - 2011-09-16 11:59

    Its called affordability, do you think 15 million social security recievers can pay for 'clean energy' ? We have all that is neccessary to make nuclear energy work , including methods of disposal . Thats BHP Billiton by the way and create more than 'just a few thousand lives'.You don't have to change the economy but just the energy sector which is a monopoly , we need to privatize and put energy on the commodity market , this will be the only way to foster renewable energy supply.

      Mad Hatter - 2011-09-16 12:00

      error - jobs not lives

  • Fat Rucker - 2011-09-16 12:02

    How about some balance? Where are the reasoned arguments FOR nuclear power?

      Robbie - 2011-09-16 12:06

      use Google...

      Fat Rucker - 2011-09-16 12:09

      That's hardly the point. Why do the ecomentalists get the platform to rail against nuclear technology without the presentation of any counter-arguments?

      Oryx_ZA - 2011-09-16 12:31

      Simple: Pro: Cleaner and more powerful than conventional power sources. Tried and tested. Little to no CO2 emissions. Cons: Disposal of nuclear waste and danger of leak. Expensive to build and long lead times. Green energy Clean and "self sustaining". No CO2 emissions. No air pollution. Cons: Large amount required to match conventional power output. Expensive, fragile to storms (imagine the damage to an air turbine or solar panels during a freak hail storm, tornado, dust storms and a number of other common events). I think I am being fair here?

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 12:38

      @Oryx - and now imagine the damage to a nuclear reactor caused by a serious eatquake or a tsunami . . . . .

      daaivark - 2011-09-16 12:45

      No reason to stop anyone putting forward pro-nuclear arguments at all. But arguments, not just emotive expletives. Let's hear them.

      Valis - 2011-09-16 13:31

      @Blougroen: Once again, ZERO fatalities! Why are you incapable of getting that fact through your thick skull?

      Belatu - 2011-09-16 13:32

      @BlouGroen, and when was the last time South Africa had a major earth quake or tsunami? it's all relative, Japan is a Quake Zone with regular quakes and has a very long history of Tsunamis the risks are relatively big, South Africa has no history of either so the risk is low. Now go crawl back into your cave.

      Orcanda - 2011-09-16 15:13

      Why is it that people cant realise that all information on the Internet is not correct. As things stand the Internet has no standard system of quality control so it's important to be careful about which information you use and not to trust everything you read. Think about it - the Internet links millions of computers: •Anyone can put something on the Internet - an amateur or an expert •From anywhere in the World - be it the United Kingdom or Uruguay •They can say anything they like - be it true or false •And leave it there as long as they like - even if it goes out of date •Or change it without warning - perhaps even remove it completely. This information can be found on Internet detective. There is a danger that the information you find on the Internet will: •Be from a source that is unreliable, lacking in authority or credibility •Have content that is invalid, inaccurate, out-of-date •Not be what it seems!

      Succubus - 2011-09-16 15:27

      Blougroen, Both Chernobyl and Fukushima have resulted in 'significantly' fewer deaths than the number of deaths per TWh of wind farms. Nuclear power is to date the safest form of energy production out of all known methods of producing power, by many orders of magnitude, inflicting only 0.04 deaths per TWh. Wind farms, as an example, are particularly dangerous to humans and wildlife, and impose a great negative net impact on the environment, again, orders of magnitude greater then nuclear on both counts, safety and environmental health. So the danger of earth quake damage to a nuclear reactor, even in an area like Japan that sits right on a fault line, is almost insignificant. Even in Japan, Nuclear power is significantly safer than all other forms of energy production. People, I mean hippies, over react on the topic of nuclear power due to ignorance and a false perception of danger and related health risks they have allowed them selves to be feed through the media. The scientific fact is, nuclear power production and associated nuclear waist management, is many many times, both safer and cleaner than all other forms of energy production on the planet to day.

  • Thingamebob - 2011-09-16 12:03

    we need to make nuclear weapons like our brothers in Korea and Iran. Bring on the stations, we need power and no one in the west can tell us what to do even if we kill ourselves.

      Robbie - 2011-09-16 12:07

      lekka deurmekaar comment

  • Robbie - 2011-09-16 12:05

    These "Activist" need to do their homework. Nuclear is the ONLY way to alleviate the power shortage... worldwide!

      pop101 - 2011-09-16 12:13

      Hi Robbie, meet Blougroen...blougroen meet Robbie, may the best man win....ting ting ting.

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 12:15

      Really . . . ?????? Have you checked their "homework" ????

      Agent Bastad - 2011-09-16 12:30

      Yes, their "homework" does not mention anything about the cost per unit of running a country on Karma and Unicorn smiles.

  • Morarius - 2011-09-16 12:08

    Nuke is the only way to go, rather ban coal fired

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 12:21

      Ban both - others have applied their minds to the matter some time ago - and it differs with your "opinion" “I'd put my money on solar energy… I hope we don't have to wait 'til oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” —Thomas Edison, in conversation with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, March 1931

      Oryx_ZA - 2011-09-16 13:29

      haha...yes...i have a feeling both would of been well impressed with nuclear energy.....pity it was not operation in 1931. I hear the ancient Egyptians were also in favour of wind power? Jokes aside...i think you need a collaboration between nuke power and solar. Nuke energy is clean, provided you are able to dispose of the waste in safe manner and protect the building correctly. Solar Power is great but not efficient at this point, and keeps hitting the rather blunt wall that the sun only shines for half the time. It will get better...but why make full investments of something that has not had all the kinks worked out? Finally I think it’s a little unfair to impose green rules on developing nations who are un-able to afford “green energy” or even nuke energy. The developed world is where they are because of coal. Now these same nations are telling Africa and other developing nations that they can’t use their own resources to grow their economies or risk being isoloated from the international community?

      Valis - 2011-09-16 13:33

      @Blougroen: Edison was an idiot who held back the development of power generation for years. I'm not surprised you would quote this ignoramus.

      Belatu - 2011-09-16 13:36

      @BlouGroen, Your comment proves that even intelligent people such as Thomas Edison can be wrong. A study in 2008 found that to supply the United States with All it's energy needs using only Solar power would require that the surface area of 3.5 earths be completely covered in solar panels. But I guess it's easier to ask others if they did their "homework" than it is to do your own.

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 13:43

      @Oryx - Sun always shines somewhere - and you can transport power - and LSP plants allow you to generate power after the sun has set - see the info here re the developing world and their energy requirements - www.ipcc.ch

      Oryx_ZA - 2011-09-16 14:03

      @blougroen So you are asking Countries to share their power load...and world peace. The EU, which arguably is a economic failure is the largest energy collaboration. Thing is the sun does not always shine in Europe...same can be said about America...or Asia...or Africa. Unless you are talking about intercontinental collaboration?...which brings me back to my point about world peace...that does not sound easy or simple. Not considering the geographical difficulties For me, the solar solution for storing energy comes in the form of using a system of dams. Basically any excess energy is used to pump water (it can be salt) up a series of stepped reservoirs. When there is high demand or night time, a series of hydroelectric style generators power the grid as the water runs down those reservoirs. However it takes up a lot of space and needs to be efficient

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 14:16

      @Oryx - you could also argue that an interconnected energy system will also contribute to peace. And yes statistics says the sun always shines somewhere on the planet - you will always be able to feed a supergrid and transport energy to where it is needed - in simple terms if you can generate excess capacitry in daytime you can export it to where the sun is not shining. And obviously you will use pumped storage as an energy resource - how difficult is it to pump seawater using clean energy to an inland reservoir and harvest it again at night But liquid salt plants are the exiting option at the moment - cheap - very low co2 footprint - small physical footprint and can work after the sun has set.

      pop101 - 2011-09-16 15:39

      First achieve world peace, then we can talk again. No use one aggressive country decide to climb of or destroy the grid leaving the rest in darkness.

      SLA~Q - 2011-09-17 14:48

      @Blougroen, clearly you have no understanding of the conditions for transporting energy. To transport electrical energy you require HIGH voltages to minimize the loss due to internal resistance of the power lines. Solar energy by default is very LOW voltage. To convert it to high voltage consumes a large percentage of the total power. Solar power cannot be transported over long distances. Solar power is so LOW voltage that even your calculator needs to amplify it.

  • letsee - 2011-09-16 12:10

    I'm all for green but I need to live too. How long before renewable energy is available and what to do in the meanwhile?

      Blougroen - 2011-09-16 12:22

      Use the green energy that is already available . .

  • Gina - 2011-09-16 12:27

    To the activists, what is worse nucleur or man himself. Man has distroyed the earth, overpopulation, cutting down our forests ,killing our animals, destroying our countries with war, you people have nothing more to do then worry about the wrong things, worry about the population explosion in starving Africa, worry about the greedy and war mongering governments of this world of ours.

      daaivark - 2011-09-16 12:49

      OK, I think it is generally accepted that humans damage the environment. But you can hardly be suggesting banning humans. Because one voices concern about one issue, it doesn't mean one is disregarding everything else. Discourse would be awfully long-winded if every statement about anything had to cover every single issue on earth. Concern is not an exclusive phenomenon.

      pop101 - 2011-09-16 13:05

      Well Vark , if you think about it....overpopulation contribute to most of our modern problems, including this very one on top of the page.

      daaivark - 2011-09-16 14:56

      As I think I said quite clearly, no-one disputes that.

      piet.strydom - 2011-09-16 15:17

      Mmm Gina, why so negative? The world produces more food than ever before, living standards are higher than ever before, and are increasing. Health and longevity is rising, population increase rates are decreasing. Demographers now think that the world population will stabilise @ around 9bn in 40-50 yrs time. Compare the lives we have with what our parents/ grandparents had - the level of comforts, medical care, etc etc. It is VASTLY better on just about every metric, including the portion of the earth set aside for conservation. Does that mean there are no problems left to solve? That everybody is living on cloud 9? No, and no. But we humans are incredibly good at two things - spreading doom and gloom on the one hand, and improving things and overcoming problems on the other. It has been that way for 100 000 years, and I see no reason for it to change in the next 20. Source: The Rational Optimist

  • Agent Bastad - 2011-09-16 12:29

    The Julius Malema school of engineering released the following statement: "We are engaging with government to award tenders for the construction of fan-powered wind turbines to increase the country's power supply. Each turbine would power a large fan, which in turn will power the turbine. All excess power generated will be channeled back into the electricity grid."

      pop101 - 2011-09-16 12:30

      LOL

  • Kleinjan - 2011-09-16 12:29

    Damn tree huggers.

      Orcanda - 2011-09-16 15:28

      We do need them around Kleinjan. Some do make sense, this is now the onces that are well quilified people in Environmental Issues, like Foresters, Environmentalists, Agronomist, Engineering, Forest Hydroloy etc. and they do know what they talking about. But then you get the overemotional. paranoid people that teether on the brink of insanity and who is obsessive to the point that they would commit a crime or murder because the think they are right. These are the people who make us hate them. The late Steve Irwin reached more people around the world in protecting animals and the environment and making them aware of the importance of it in lessw then a year then any Bunny Huggers like PETA could in 10 years.

  • clivegoss - 2011-09-16 12:30

    Hallo I am GREEN and we need nuclear in the RSA it is the cleanest option in the whole wide world. Fukusmima was a NATUREL DISASTER. Greenpeace should protest PERLEMOEN and RHINO poaching because that is also a disaster that could really use GREEN HELP.

      Agent Bastad - 2011-09-16 12:35

      Green is the new red, didn't you know?

  • Maverick - 2011-09-16 13:05

    Nuclear power is by far the most energy effective, most cost effective, most environmentally friendly, lowest wastage (1 ton in 20 years per pebble bed), cleanest power and safe as well if you let the experts do the job. I have asked a nuclear engineer to explain how it works.

  • Bernoo - 2011-09-16 13:24

    LOL, Government should take down their names and addresses and cut them off first when load shedding starts!

  • Hannes - 2011-09-16 13:35

    Maybe it is time to comment on the trend of replies some have sent, here and elsewhere re media24 articles and those responding to it. How many have actually stopped and considered their verbal diarrhoea? And then to use this media to wipe yourselves is not only hugely gross, but also hugely unfair to the most of the readers –imagine what others may say about you and your ....., and, fill in the blank space if you are man-enough! Secondly, what does the average South AFRICAN think about your rhetoric? Confirming a belief system about who you/we are – thereby stereotyping us? Then I do not want to be associated with ….. again fill in the blank space Mr/Mrs/Miss self-righteous replier to all and sundry. Not only are you not hearing another, and then fail to respond constructively, but reply with blasts such as '...search ...' or '...google...' or such like - indicative of not knowing yourself and being ignorant or denying others the right to differ from you? But … all you may be able to display is the ability to have verbal diarrhoea. What message are you sending? Actually, for a moment, consider the conversation of the deaf-concept. Some think to swear or use foul language is OK, actually if you think you are better than others/the rest – reading your comments one will not know the difference between you and those you vehemently dislike. Maybe it is time for Media24 to take out the trash!

      pop101 - 2011-09-16 13:44

      Foeitog...go cry in the corner. If you don't want to join us in the kitchen, get out...nobody is forcing you to read peoples comments.

      handbanana - 2011-09-16 15:04

      jissis, moet net nie huil nie toe...

  • Zion - 2011-09-16 13:55

    A bit if ignorance is often an effective measure to bringhome apoint until someone latches on to it. The defunct Oryx mine now operating as Beatrix 4 shaft was originally an uranium mine. Today it is mining gold. One of the richest gold mines in the world was the President Steyn 4 Shaft near Virginia. Today it is Bambanani. During its heyday it was producing and processing uranium as a By-product. Most coal mines have a small percentage Uranium so too, in some copper mines. The point here Hundreds of thousands of workers were exposed to radiation in some degree or other. Hundreds died but due to Pneumoconiosis. Never a single one died of radiation or felt its effects. The Mine waste heaps and slimes tailing dumps are just as radio-active yet these structures are part of the scenery and landscape and contain some radioactivity. Never heard of anybody suffering due to exposure. It is more dangerous wandering around in a coal or gold mine than ambling through a nuclear power station. On an Anglogold mine where I worked scrap metal first had to be tested before it was allowed to sell it to scrap-yards, yet people were just not dying due to that radiation.

  • ThePranksta - 2011-09-16 14:06

    @Blougroen - Actually the Blythe Solar Project produces 0MW, it not finished yet and the technology hasn't been proven on a large scale. They have been switching between tech more than I switch underpants and been major problems for funding/internal politics ect. (actually high cost, long lead times is not a problem for just nuclear plants but for all large power plants). They've just switch half from thermal to PV (apparently organizers have financial interests in PV companies in the US). I'm glad I'm near a PV manufacturing plant or solar farm, these panels' "active material" is mainly heavy metals and/or carcinogenic materials and there have been a lot of research lacking in the effects of weather degradation. If you want to use solar power examples rather use Spain. The PC and Andasol plants are thermal solar being combined with the locally available fossil fuel natural gas and they are actually finished and producing power. SA also has a few solar plants in the works (100MW plants) but a lot of decisions are still needed since the tech is still in its infancy. Also the only place in South Africa that is suitable for solar is the middle and upper Karoo, so it isn't a solution for the whole country. In the mean time we need infrastructure expansion for economic and job growth OR are you and your green buddies going to give up your houses, jobs and food for the masses.

  • Anthony - 2011-09-16 14:16

    get lost greenpeace you bunch of hippy loosers, go live in the bush and leave the economic growth to the people with an education, wait half our governmental is not educated, any way just back off. signed: clubaseal.

      daaivark - 2011-09-16 14:33

      How exceedingly articulate and educated, Anthony. That's just the way to set about intelligent debate. And by the way "half our governmental"? How educated is that?

  • pietie - 2011-09-16 15:11

    Perhaps we are all in the wrong direction.... Maybe we should focus on developing ways of better utilising what we already got. Educating consumers to be more considerate and economical users, improving the efficancy of light bulbs, heating elements and other appliences consuming power or by finding ways of harnassing/recycling the immense amounts of energy we waste every day (for example walking down the street has an energy footprint - so think bicycles in gyms generating electricity...). If we can decrease our footprint we would decrease our demand for more energy resources... Just an idea!

  • DavelDas - 2011-09-16 15:12

    God help us when the day arrive that we need to power our mines with wind turbines, hoisting and lowering miners down the shafts!

      David de Bruyn - 2011-09-18 20:26

      Its not that simple.

  • werner.smidt - 2011-09-19 14:49

    If you want your point to come across as a joke, get the support of Earthlife Africa.

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