SA’s costly nuke plant a national suicide – NUM

2014-06-19 10:38

Government and the ANC should reconsider plans to forge ahead with expanding nuclear energy, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has said.

The NUM’s national executive committee (NEC) met yesterday to discuss President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address.

On Tuesday, Zuma signalled that South Africa would push ahead with nuclear energy generation.

The NEC acknowledged that nuclear energy could contribute more than 9 000 megawatts to the national grid with benefits for business and human needs.

But it believed the risks outweighed the benefits.

“... Fukushima nuclear disaster is a godly reminder about the inherent dangers to the environment and the human race,” the NEC said.

Hundreds of thousands of Japanese people were negatively and permanently affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011.

NUM general secretary Frans Baleni also pointed to the Ukrainian Chernobyl accident of April 26 1986. It was the world’s worst nuclear disaster, the most costly and resulted in the most deaths.

The NUM estimated it would cost R1 trillion to build a new South African nuclear plant.

“Thus, nuclear [is] an expensive investment to national suicide,” Baleni said.

On March 11 2011, the Fukushima I nuclear power plant suffered a catastrophic failure after it was hit by a tsunami following a strong earthquake.

The effects of the Chernobyl disaster are expected to contaminate the surrounding area for thousands of years to come.

Chernobyl’s reactor has been enclosed in a huge concrete sarcophagus, but the sarcophagus is nearing the end of its 30-year life span.

Construction of a second containment structure to encase the sarcophagus is expected to be finished in 2016.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.