Group slams SA nuclear energy

2011-05-17 08:23

Cape Town - SA is not in any kind of energy crisis, despite the unfolding crisis at nuclear plants in Japan, an activist organisation has said.

"It's [the energy crisis] a complete fabrication. Of our total capacity, domestic users account for 18%," Muna Lakhani, Cape Town branch co-ordinator for Earthlife Africa told News24.

He slammed Eskom for their lack of transparency in negotiating electricity tariffs with industrial consumers at the expense of domestic users.

"If all domestic users cut down on consumption by 50% that would be amazing, but that saving would be wiped out when the new smelter at Coega goes online. Thirty-six companies use 40% of our total capacity and one uses 10%.

"There's something immoral about our electricity consumption and who uses it," said Lakhani.

Nuclear energy

According to Mark Allix in Business Day, the Eastern Cape will get a R2.7bn a year boost with the construction of a R4.2bn manganese smelter in the Coega industrial development zone, but much of the benefit will be limited to the Nelson Mandela Bay metro area.

The proposed Coega smelter is part of an R11bn investment by state-backed empowered resources company Kalagadi Manganese, which is building an integrated mining, primary refining and beneficiating chain between the Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape.

Recently the government has announced that it intends to move toward a green energy production, but has come under fire from environmentalists for continued discussions on nuclear energy.

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

"Nuclear is a false dichotomy - it's blackmail. We are told to choose coal or nuclear: It's nonsense; there are many myths about energy," Lakhani said.

Analysts have said that the nuclear industry is in renaissance, despite the tragedy of the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, which has become the worst nuclear disaster after the earthquake and tsunami on March 11 since Chernobyl in 1986.

The Japanese disaster killed an estimated 14 800 people and both operator Tepco and the government have come under fire for their handling of the crisis.

Renewable energy

"There's a push by the nuclear industry to enter the South. There aren't even that many new entrants in the market, so when they talk about this nuclear renaissance, it's bullshit," said Lakhani.

He said it was critical for the country to turn to renewable energy.

"On a simple economic basis, solar power became cheaper than nuclear last year [2010. There's an underlined sub-text going on here: In pure Rand for Rand basis nuclear is a stupid idea."

The nuclear energy industry has recently come under fire in the UK.

The Energy and Climate Change Select Committee's report accused ministers of disguising the subsidy and distorting the reforms, the BBC reported.

But the nuclear industry refuses to build new power stations without further incentives, so ministers are proposing long-term contracts at a guaranteed price for nuclear power.

'Nuclear nonsense'

"Because of the huge up-front investment, a firm needs reasonably confidence on a rate of return," said committee chair and the Conservative MP for South Suffolk, Tim Yeo.

"The government should have been explicit about its determination to support nuclear like other low-carbon sources.

"But because it has been shackled by its promise, it has tried to disguise the support and produced a system that is so complicated that it probably won't deliver," he added.

Earthlife Africa also urged the South African to abandon nuclear energy.

"We need to ensure that the government stops this nuclear nonsense and any further production of coal-fired plants. The way we do business is inherently unsustainable. We need to come around with a different mindset for infrastructure," Lakhani said.

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  • Deon - 2011-05-17 09:08

    Give the man and his glassy-eyed zealot supporters bicycles with dynamos and let them pedal like mad for clean energy. That will also give them something useful to do with their time and make for a healthier life.

      kungfupanda - 2011-05-17 11:07

      Deon, you clearly have no idea how nuclear power works, along with Al-Jackal below here. Anyone who thinks nuclear energy is great is an idiot. We should bury some nuclear waste in your garden and see what happens.

      francois - 2011-05-17 11:35

      @ kungfupanda... And you think you know??!! Yes nuclear waste is one of the biggest concerns when dealing with nuclear energy. Long term storage of waste underground presents almost no threat to the environment (except the digging of a hole in a deserted desert-like area). Storage containers are ridiculously over designed to make sure that no leaking can occur. And even then the preparation of the area where the waste will be buried will prevent any leakage into the ground. And finally an area is chosen where almost no rainfall is measured in a year and there is no underground water to pollute. Nuclear is the safest option. None of the deaths (full two of them) at Fukushima are even related to radiation. The one guy that did die was in a crane when a huge tsunami hit him.

      kungfupanda - 2011-05-17 11:38

      @francois: Yes, i do know how it works. So with all these measures, you are 100% certain this waste is posing no danger to the environment. How much waste is there going to be after 20 more years of nuclear power? What is the effect of the radiation that leaked into the sea in Japan? Koeberg is built close to a faultline and could withstand a 7.0 earthquake. So, what happens if we get a 7.5 or 8.0? You can say it will never happen, but when it does there will be no turning back. If you want to believe it's safe, then so be it. But I don't. And I don't believe it's clean either.

      Uwe Klopfer - 2011-05-17 12:09

      @panda.. and tell me, what would you suggest ? so called "renewable" energy ? Solar panels ? Too expensive and its exotic and rare elements cause more green house gas to manufacture than it can ever produce power for. Concentrated solar ? Where the hell are you going to build all those reflective mirrors ? in the Karoo ? Where shell wants to drill for gas? And when the sun don't shine...sunshine ? Mmm...problem, we batteries aren't good enough, not by a long shot. High capacity batteries takes us back to the exactic, dangerous and high carbon footprint production. Wind power ? Manufacturing of the componenets isn't excatly "green" either. Plus the long term effect of stripping that energy from the atmosphere hasn't been measured. The wind doesn't just "pass on by" you know. That wind contains a certain amount of energy that drives climates, ecosystems, rainfall patterns etc. Hydrogen power ? Sure, and where you going to get more hydrogen ? From the water that you get when burning the first batch? You don't get enough energy to use AND break up more water for more fuel. Fossil fuels ? NOPE. So we are left with two options : Nuclear or Water. Water includes Tidal power and Hydro electricity. Did you know that there is more than 5 times more hydro power available in the Congo river than the whole sub sahara requires ? Wave power ? Massive tidal pools with generators ? Sounds good. Wave power on the ocean ? Mail me nixcroft(at) for some interesting facts on the above.

  • Al-Jackal - 2011-05-17 09:13

    Earthlife Africa don't have a clue what they are talking about. Their heads are even higher in the clouds then the ANC. No doubt zoll clouds at that.

      Nesomaniac - 2011-05-17 10:57

      Right on. Earthlife Africa speak through their rear end. Pity they don't study the facts before they fart out such comments!

  • Rapier - 2011-05-17 09:36

    We must agree that, based on recent evidence, Nuclear can be risky. If we look at how people are handling something as elementary as a Sewerage works, then how can we trust them with, for example, the SKA project, and by extension unbridled Nuclear energy? South Africans can be very innovative...Mark Shuttleworth, and many others have demostrated that - so WHY can't we look at other alternatives. There are OPERATING plants using Salt (yes Sodium Chloride - NaCl) and we could instal a plant like this in say, the Northern Cape. Worth thinking about?

      Darryl - 2011-05-17 12:40

      This is probably the strongest argument for not getting Nuclear in South Africa.

  • Proefeet - 2011-05-17 09:56

    Cool shirt, dude!

  • billyf100 - 2011-05-17 10:05

    South Africa is short of electricity. Major industries and mines have had to cut down on usage due to this. This will affect the GDP. Nuclear is the ONLY 24/7 option to coal fired power stations. Nuclear is safer than coal - count the coal mining deaths as well as the effects on air pollution. It comes to many thousand per year. Although the Fuhushima accident is a disaster, caused by a combination of improbable natural disasters - nobody has been killed due to the nuclear accident.(2 workers on site by the tsunami). Japan's monitoring of radiation has so far kept the general population safe. The other option used for many decades (and which drives the Green nuts mad) is shale gas - of which we probably have large reservoirs. Billy Fletcher

      RVQ - 2011-05-17 11:17

      Shale? Yeah right trying getting close to the Karoo with a spade...

      kungfupanda - 2011-05-17 11:23

      Billy, if you and a dog were both in trouble, I would rescue the dog

      Darryl - 2011-05-17 12:47

      Ok Kung Fu Panda, if you have a choice between coal, which has been demonstrated REPEATEDLY to be very bad for both local and global circumstances, and Nuclear, which has had few major accidents and has racked up over 1500 years of operating time which would you choose because, at the moment, you're choosing coal. Take one of the most green anti-nuclear nations in Europe, Germany, they are abandoning Nuclear to go "green" but what the greens there aren't acknowledging is that they are actually embracing coal! Just Google "Germany Plans Boom in Coal Power Plants" and see for yourself! To see the relative deaths per TWH (a standard measure of how dangerous a energy source is) google "Deaths per TWH, nextbigfuture." This is the reality of what we are facing.

      insekt - 2011-05-20 08:50

      wind energy?? do you realise the technology available in the field of renewable energy these days?

  • umlaut - 2011-05-17 10:25

    Earthlife is right to try and stop nuclear energy production- It is very unsafe and unpredictable if something goes wrong, but the anc will be building nuclear plants even if it means it may destroy parts of SA. The Soweto residents will complain though, when these dangerous monsters are built next to them. To stay closer than 200km from these monsters could be a risk.

      Darryl - 2011-05-17 12:52

      They won't build it right next to Soweto because it's not near a nice large heatsink (ie: the ocean). Unsafe... Compared to what other baseload power source? coal? Gas? No both are more dangerous, google "deaths per TWH nextbigfuture." Unpredictable? so after 1500 years of operating Nuclear reactors we keep finding them go pop all of a sudden for no reason. These are not cheaply made toasters they don't just go bang for no reason. What happened at Fukushima was a massive natural disaster. What happened at Chernobyl was pure incompetence and poor design.

  • RVQ - 2011-05-17 11:18

    Do we have a reasonable replacement to nuclear? Pretty sure they won't be happy if the Karoo was covered with solar panels...

      Darryl - 2011-05-17 12:55

      What I find odd is that there's very little investigation into large scale solar/wind. The only decent study I could find on wind suggested that using massive offshore windfarms resulted in an increase of 1 degree Celsius on the ocean near the land.

  • daaivark - 2011-05-17 11:20

    @ Deon, Al-Jackal and Nesomaniac: with all your talk about studying facts and hints that Mr Lakhani is a stoner, you are remarkably ill-informed. Ever heard of Chernobyl? Three mile Island? Fukushima? Ever read a newspaper? Watched the news? Arrogant idiots.

      Darryl - 2011-05-17 12:59

      Do you know how many people die every day in coal mines or due to lung cancer/damage from living near a coal power plant or globally from air pollution. You probably don't because a couple of coal miners dying every day just isn't "news" and an increase in lung cancer rates around a coal plant don't result in an easy litigation.

      daaivark - 2011-05-17 13:53

      There are negatives to any of these solutions. I am not claiming to know answers, but simply suggesting that most people form uninformed opinions. It is really all academic anyway, as I reckon the earth will not be habitable for all that long, the way we humans so effectively stuff it up.

      Uwe Klopfer - 2011-05-17 14:55

      @daaivark i tend to agree with, i don't doubt for a moment that humans will still inhabit the planet, but how many humans will it be able to sustain ? and how much of the planet would actually be habitable ? Einstein said the following...and i find it chilling : "I don't what weapons World War 3 will be fought with, but i do know World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones."

      Darryl - 2011-05-20 01:39

      Well we can take the stand point that we are messed and there is no hope but if we're going to take that lets at least try go for a solution that has a chance of working. That is pragmatic and reasonable. Nuclear is green, it has it's problems, I don't think the nuclear industry believes it'll be the primary energy of the future but they can help stop greenhouse gas emissions NOW, giving us time to develop the renewable solution such that it is economically feasible and upgrading the power grid so that it can accommodate renewables. Nuclear and renewables are really on the same side of the fence. It's just a few personalities that divide us.

  • Horst - 2011-05-17 11:58

    Given the choice between coal or nuclear, I'll go for nuclear, the risks can be managed. But an interesting point raised in the article is that since 2010 the cost of solar power has dropped below that of nuclear. If that is true than surely we must take a serious look at that. Of course, there is also that other option: shale gas, which I think is pretty clean and not very detrimental to the environment. So let's frack the Karoo.

      kungfupanda - 2011-05-17 12:10

      Are you for real? Do you live in the Karoo? Imagine someone coming to your house and telling you they are going to pump tons of chemicals into the earth close to your house. Would you be ok with that?

      ebdg3000 - 2011-05-17 12:50

      100% Horst - a good energy supplement and excellent career opportunity. The greenies have seized on a few horror stories out of Pennsylvania, USA, and are fueling their own selfish and short sighted agenda with these, totally disregarding the fact that these incidents are negligible compared to the amount of successful fracking that takes place throughout the world every single day, bringing with it immeasurable benefits for modern society. Panda, think about that the next time you start your car up, or fire up your gas grill when camping out, like, you know, bro, under the stars ...

      Darryl - 2011-05-17 13:01

      I agree with Panda here. Gas kills way more people per KWH and is more expensive. It's madness to let Shell go frack the Karoo up. I'd love to see that article. How do they maintain a cost effective state while providing base load power?

  • Hans - 2011-05-17 12:02

    The facts about renewables are quite clear: they are now cheaper than both coal and nuclear, they are affordable, they work and in comparison to BOTH coal and nuclear, they are comparatively green. Any in-depth study of energy options will demonstrate these facts. The facts about coal do not need to be re-stated, other than to conclude that coal is expensive dirty and emits loads of carbon and other atmospheric nasties. Nuclear? The carbon emissions related to building, operating and de-commissioning a nuclear power plant, plus those involved over hundreds (some say thousands) of years managing high-risk storage, are massive and quite possibly even outstrip coal over the lifetime of a project. That's not even to add the financial cost - over its lifetime the cost of nuclear is way more expensive than any other option. We're going through massive price hikes to cover the cost of power generation. With nuclear power stations in the offing, the price of electricity will rise even more steeply and to greater heights than we ever believed possible - and you and I will pay for it! Or not, cause we won't be able to afford to. We're crazy to even go there when cheaper, comparatively clean, renewable sources of energy are available. And we're also crazy to give our support to dangerous, dirty and expensive nuclear power when simple measures to save electricty are not yet being implemented ...

      Darryl - 2011-05-17 13:07

      "The facts about renewables are quite clear: they are now cheaper than both coal and nuclear, they are affordable, they work and in comparison to BOTH coal and nuclear, they are comparatively green. Any in-depth study of energy options will demonstrate these facts." Cool, can you explain this then, google, "Holland slashes carbon targets, shuns wind for nuclear." Nuclear contributesto carbon emissions by 1) the factories used to produce everything are drawing electricity from coal power plants 2) Transport - uses oil. If you factor these into your renewable energy resources then they also dump a whole load of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. However if you have electric transportation and power coming from nuclear/renewables then you have no emissions in the chain of production (except for manufacturing necessities). Based on the above the conclusions of your last two paragraphs are no longer valid.

      Hans - 2011-05-17 13:46

      Heh Darryl. Look I'm Dutch, but I cannot vouch for what the Dutch are doing! :-)In the event, it is certain that their circumstances are very different to ours. They're a tiny, heavily-populated country with little room to do anything at all. They also enjoy just a fraction of the sunshine that we have. And they have heavily congested waterways and are in the heart of one of the most heavily shipped areas in the world. I guess that they must have concluded that building more nuclear stations is their best option? However, the same lobbying in favour of nuclear is going on there as it is here, so what is best for people and the planet in the long run may - just as it is here - be clouded by short-term interests promoted by civil society and by the nuclear industry. When I said that renewables are "comparatively" green, I acknowledged that renewable energy still produces carbon emissions in its manufacturing, installation and de-commissioning processes. That is not in dispute. The thrust of my argument is that based on emissions and financial cost, renewables are a better bet that nuclear or coal. The issue of safety is another argument entirely ... and also comes with its costs, each energy source does. The fundamental question not being debated at all is: what kind of environment do we want to live in? Is there some universal reason or justification for destroying everything we love and hold dear in order to satisfy a never-ending demand for electricty? Is there a better way?

      daaivark - 2011-05-17 13:54

      BRILLIANT, Hans. Your closing paragraph really hits the nail on the head.

      Hans - 2011-05-17 19:06

      Daaivark, thank you. Perhaps I'll have to draft a provocative opinion piece and try and motivate some debate on that fundamental issue ...

      Darryl - 2011-05-20 01:20

      It doesn't come out to being more economic though. Wiki cost of electricity per energy source, read the references and see for yourself. The green tech *sometimes* is cheaper (particularly wind). On average you have a very predictable cost of your nuclear plant with a very definite specified output. I will concede that renewables are going to get cheaper and cheaper (the real impediment is energy storage!!!). However in the meantime they can't balance our cost, reward, clean green goals. Most countries have accepted that nuclear is the interim solution as we transition to renewables. Rather than blocking nuclear we should get these plants up ASAP, tear down coal plants and spend the profits on developing renewables. We save the planet from global warming, in 60 years time we can decommission all the nuclear plants (the decommissioning cost is built in at the start), we will have the green tech ready to replace all of them and there we go problem solved. Otherwise we do what's happening in Germany where we claim to go Green build a mass of coal power plants, end up reaching a positive feedback w.r.t global warming and then the brown stuff hits the fan. As nations suffer from global warming issues it will be to late to go green.

  • Brad - 2011-05-17 14:01

    I have a question... We have so many people on this planet and we are running out of space. What makes people think Nuclear is clean and will not pollute the ground, water and other essential living resources we strive for? Even if it is in the dessert or the sea etc. Many years ago, we said we will never run out of sea resources and look at today. Short term solution is not the best solution.

      Uwe Klopfer - 2011-05-17 14:52


      Darryl - 2011-05-20 01:25

      Well it's defined as clean compared to coal, gas and any other kind of fossil fuel. Also virtually any other mined material. There have been no large scale studies on the effect of windfarms needed to supply the amount of energy we consume, so we don't really know how green that is yet or for that matter how green massive solar plants are. Nuclear has had 3 accidents in over 1500 years of plant operation. Read up on how nature is taking Chernobyl back. Also two bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they are bustling cities today. Radiation can be dealt with in the system.

  • Brad - 2011-05-17 14:04

    @Uwe, the reason why these renewable energy are expensive because the public and including the government would rather spend less money for now and promote less. Look at the petrol car now, it is cheaper than electrical ones. After few years when there are no more fossil fuels, electrical car will be less expensive. It is simply common sense! The more people use the renewable energy, the less expensive it becomes to produce. It is a change of habit and mind set. That is all.

      Uwe Klopfer - 2011-05-17 14:46

      i agree, but that doesn't change the fact that to manufacture most these "green" solutions is just as big, if not a bigger problem than the non green issue it is attempting to replace. I believe that existing science, or retention of energy is flawed. There must surely be more latent forms of energy to tap ? Magnetism ? I will be the first to say i don't quite understand the concept behind vacuum energy but it is very very it for some strange ideas regarding energy

  • John - 2011-05-17 15:19

    The green-eyed are looking through rose tinted glasses. Renewable energy is an admirable goal but a myth that will never be realised. Nothing comes close to providing the bank-for-buck that you get from nuclear. Nuclear energy is in renaissance for a reason -- no clean alternative.

      John - 2011-05-17 15:21

      that should be bang-for-buck, sorry

      Hans - 2011-05-17 19:13

      John, when you weigh it all up, Nuclear costs a whole lot of bucks! And the long-term cost, in Rands and cents as well as in various environmental costs, is just staggering. It truly is. And renewables? They're no myth - it's being used on small and also massive scale all over the world. But what is necessary for us all, and where renewables come in, is that we must re-invent how and where power is produced and how it is distributed. The future will require a vast, differentiated web of power producers from home-owners to local and/but small-scale power plants. And power savings will become ever more important ...

      Darryl - 2011-05-20 01:26

      Best yet look at China, India and Russia. Some of the fastest growing countries in the world and they all have nuclear plants going ahead full steam.

      Gray - 2011-05-22 14:15

      Wow Darryl, you carry quite a pro-nukes flame. I wonder why? Pity you can't get your facts straight. China, India and Russia's nukes programmes are all going strong? China - temporary suspension of approval of nuclear power projects, including those under development. India - “We and the Department of Atomic Energy will definitely revisit the entire thing, including our new reactor plans, after we receive more information from Japan.” Shreyans Kumar Jain, chairman of the Nuclear Power Corp. of India (NPCIL). Russia - Vladimir Putin commissions a review of the future of Russia’s nuclear power energy sector, requesting “that the energy ministry, nuclear agency and environment ministry carry out an analysis of the current condition of the atomic sector and an analysis of the plans for future development.” Now that's gotta hurt. Anyway, just to help with your continued education, China had 27 plants in the pipeline, Russia 11 and India 5. There were only 64 plants under construction (according to the IAEA), and that means that at least 67% of the worlds nukes plants have been halted by the actions of these three countries alone.

      Darryl - 2011-05-25 00:55

      I think it's a tad pre-emptive to be announcing victory ;), we'll see if China/Russia/India even Japan abandons nuclear. Watch this space...

  • Mchichwa - 2011-05-17 16:04

    Hopefully as Gov we'll notice that do sumting positive re nuclear.

  • Mchichwa - 2011-05-17 16:07

    i dont underestimate Gov. i knw ey will always do better for the public. safety of nuclear will soon emerge. furthermore, i disagree with the fact that Gov abondoned Nuclear.Gov support it like any other energy sources. what i realiesd is people think negatively re nuclear

  • Gray - 2011-05-19 22:26

    "Glassy-eyed zealot". Oh I'll treasure that. If you knew anything about nukes you would know that it is expensive (now more expensive than even PV - excluding fuel, waste management, decommissioning and other externalised costs), it takes years to build (IAEA mean of 15 years), operates for a very short time (IAEA mean of 22 years) and is hardly climate friendly (what? you thought mining, milling, enrichment, transport, reprocessing...... are carbon neutral?). Leave the health implications out of it, nukes are a fat load of bollocks. Don't believe me? Do some real research before you come spew your pro-nukes crap on this forum. You can start with this:

      Darryl - 2011-05-20 01:34

      "Now more expensive than even PV - excluding fuel, waste management, decommissioning and other externalised costs" Wrong, google it and check the wiki page on cost of electricity per energy source and read all the references which come from multiple studies and multiple countries. It takes years to build (IAEA mean of 15 years), why? Because beaurocracy and people who have no idea about these plants hamstring these things so damn badly that they take forever to go up. China is at the moment taking 4 years on average to build a plant. They plan to bring that build time down to 2 years and that's without cutting corners. This is what happens when you cut the beaurocracy and stop letting a minority of lawyers get rich at the expense of everyone else. hardly climate friendly (what? you thought mining, milling, enrichment, transport, reprocessing...... are carbon neutral?). Relative to what, the mining impact of mining uranuim compared to coal gas is ridiculously more climate friendly. Most of the carbon costs of nuclear are because of the electricity used (which comes from coal power plants) to build these plants and petrol used for the transport. This same issue makes renewables have a huge carbon cost. However once your electricity is coming from renewables/nuclear and your cars run on electricity both sources drop to approximately 0 carbon emissions.

  • BizScene - 2011-05-19 23:58

    Nuclear is certainly the worst possible way to go, but to get this idiot from Earthlife Africa who can't even speak proper English to drive the debate, is even a bigger disaster. Doesn't Eartlife Africa have any better way of educating South Africans about the dangers of nuclear so that we can have an informed discussion on a very important issue? Someone who at least sounds as though he knows what he's talking about?

      Darryl - 2011-05-20 01:35

      I read their pamphlet on Nuclear, it just made me shake my head.

      Gray - 2011-05-21 12:50

      Darryl, this may come as a shock to you, but wikipedia is hardly a source of credible and reliable knowledge. Look at the graph of the cost per kwh for Nukes and PV on the THE WORLD NUCLEAR INDUSTRY STATUS REPORT 2010–2011 that I provided a link for in my previous comment and then tell me who do you think has more credibility. And sorry, but carbon emissions from some renewables are three to four times less than nukes, without the expense and the lasting waste management problems.

      Gray - 2011-05-21 12:51

      Feel free to contact me if you would like to find out who is doing what in anti-nuclear.

      Darryl - 2011-05-25 00:44

      Read what I said Gray. Everytime I said read wiki I said look at the *references* ie: check the facts. The reports are done by countries all over the world (England, USA, Australia). I'm not supporting ignorance here so please read my posts carefully. I can't see the link? I've googled it and am dissecting the report now... This will take a couple of day's it's a long report. It's also quite annoying being shouted at as being pro-nuclear and then you quote people who are quite clearly anti-nuclear :/. About the carbon emissions, I'm talking about carbon emissions, not other forms of waste. Please criticize me for the correct reasons. Eexpense and the lasting waste management problems. That report you told me to read said that these costs are amalgamated easily over the length of operation of the plant :).

  • insekt - 2011-05-20 08:47

    Typical, pro nuke supporters want, want, want, but do not want to bother about the circumstances down the line. ONEDAY WHEN the dumps full of radioactive waste eventually disolve into the earth and ruin the nature - the nature intended for all, perhaps then there will be a realisation? bad choice is a common human mistake. But honestly what is the problem with investing the money into solar energy?? "All know the Way, but few actually walk it." well done to earthlife, you have my support.

  • rumsour - 2011-05-20 23:19

    In response to the pro-nuclear lobby, the answer is definitely renewable energy. The argument against the cost of renewable energy is based on a economic model where a central power producers supplies power. For renewable energy to work and be cost effective the economic model must change, power could be produced, with photovoltaic cells, by every household (we have lots of roofs) and sold back into the grid. (System has been in use in Germany for more than 20 years and we have a hell of a lot more sun.) Further more it would then become cost effective to electrify many rural villages as there would be no cables to steal.

  • siener - 2011-05-23 13:20

    This article makes it sound like 14 800 were killed by the nuclear disaster. That' how many people died in the earthquake and tsunami. The death toll of the problems at Fukushima is four people. Exactly.

  • Carel Burger - 2011-05-24 20:05

    I think people need to look differently at nuclear power. If you had to compare the total amount of damaged done by coal power plants injecting CO2 into the atmosphere to all the nuclear disasters I would say that coal is much more damaging to the environment. Nuclear power is currently the cleanest constant power generation around. I am all for renewable energy, but you cant use renewable alone, it needs to be complemented by other power generation like nuclear. Solar only works during the day outside the high electricity demand periods. Wind is not more reliable. Until you can store renewable energy, we would not be able to rely only on renewable energy. Nuclear power has killed far less people than how many people will get killed by our carbon energy spewing methane and CO2 in the atmosphere.

  • Stollie - 2011-05-24 23:32

    Earthlife Africa are and have always been a bunch of cooky zealots who cooked up face allegations against Necsa and bribed ex employees to bring unfounded charges of occupational "injuries" against Necsa, this has been proven time and time again when detailed medical records of the employees were subject to public scrutiny. I for one can comment on the validity of the medical screening process as well as the meticulous record keeping of all possible radioactive intakes by personnel since I've been involved in the process. There is no doubt that nuclear energy needs to be handled with care, but it is the ONLY long term energy source we currently have that is sustainable at the levels we require globally. If this moron can come up with a VIABLE alternative, let him speak now of forever shut the f**k up.

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