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South Africa cannot afford nuclear energy

Earthlife Africa  is embarking on protest actions to highlight some fundamental truths about the proposed nuclear deal.

Renewable energy should be the path South Africa follows for its energy needs

Renewable energy should be the path South Africa follows for its energy needs

 

The first is that the sale of nuclear reactors will prop up the Russian nuclear industry, bring hard currencies to their economy, but will do so at the expense of South African.

In effect, we will be subsiding the Russian economy, not contributing to our own development.

The second truth is, with Eskom still unable to find R 220 billion to fund its current and massively delayed and over-budget build programme, that the debt and obligations South Africa will incur will compromise our financial independence.

Already, valuable state assets will be sold to fund Eskom’s current energy disaster.

With a price tag of over a trillion rand, the proposed nuclear programme will require a combination of loans, export credits, and future payments to these nuclear vendors.

The third truth is that the opportunity cost of the proposed nuclear deal will be high, a veritable missed opportunity for the transformation of South Africa’s economy.

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Nuclear power is the most expensive form of energy generation, and the money spent on it will leave South Africa.

If we invested in renewable energy instead, pumping even half of the proposed nuclear price tag, into the nascent South African renewable energy industry, we could develop a jobs intensive and affordable home-grown energy sector.

Lastly,  windmills and concentrated solar plants do not experience meltdowns or produce volumes of radioactive and toxic waste that last for tens of thousands of years.

Nor do their fuel silos collapse.

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