Greenpeace condemns SA’s nuclear plans

2011-03-18 10:46

Environmental group Greenpeace has strongly condemned a “bizarre” decision by Cabinet to include 9?600MW of additional nuclear energy into South Africa’s new energy plan.

“Apart from nuclear, the role that coal will play in South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2010) will also increase through two of the biggest coal-fired power stations in the world (Medupi and Kusile),” the group’s nuclear expert, Rianne Teule, said today.

“For South Africa’s Cabinet to have taken this bizarre decision, it must have been meeting in isolation for days without any access to the news.

“In the light of the Japanese nuclear crisis, governments and people around the world are asking themselves if nuclear power is worth the risk and human suffering.”

Teule said President Jacob Zuma’s government was asking the nuclear industry “where to sign” while South Africans were not being consulted on the decision at all.

“South Africans living near the potential sites for new nuclear reactors must be wondering where they could go if an accident like this happened here.

“Greenpeace urges government to rethink its coal and nuclear plans; rather it should be working towards a true energy revolution by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energies.”

Teule said although the new plan seemed to indicate a positive and substantial increase in renewable energy in the next 20 years, it was “still not good enough”.

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