Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan has eventually admitted what many countries around the world already believe; atomic energy is inherently unsafe and a danger to mankind and to the environment.
“As I’ve experienced the March 11 accident at Fukushima, I came to realize the risk of nuclear energy is too intense,” Kan said. “It involves technology that cannot be controlled by our conventional concept of safety.”
While Germany, Switzerland and Italy have all opted for a nuclear free future for their countries, Eskom has embarked on a road show trying to convince South Africans that nuclear energy is safe.
Even China, the world’s largest consumer of energy, has announced that the country is cutting its 2020 plans for more nuclear power, and instead putting the money towards building more solar farms.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission said that this decision is a direct result of the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.
Greenpeace has joined the call for a nuclear free South Africa. “The lessons have not been learnt. The South African government is now wooing nuclear power station peddlers, most of whom have neither the track record nor the capacity to deliver cutting edge nuclear technology” says Greenpeace.
Eskom is conducting a mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for nuclear reactors on three sites along the coastline, including Thyspunt near Jeffreys Bay.
Bizarrely enough, Eskom has not yet ordered the new reactors, so it is unknown which technology is being assessed.
Flaws have been exposed in the Impact Assessments, including a basic mistake like the prevailing wind direction being North West. The surf communities have been living in this area since the 1960’s and during all that time, the prevailing wind has never come from the North.
Kumi Naidoo from Greenpeace sums it all up: “Nuclear energy is a dangerous distraction from the clean energy development needed to prevent catastrophic climate change. Nuclear power simply delivers too little, too late, and at too high a price.”