The earthquake in Japan has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people with many more injured and displaced from their homes.
The damage caused to the country is estimated at around R 70 billion with the cost increasing as more information comes to the fore about the damage caused by the tsunamis that followed the earthquake.
The real damage caused by this natural disaster may only be revealed in the months and years to come as a nuclear meltdown takes place in Japan.
The damage caused to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant has already seen a mass evacuation of residents living in a 20 km radius of the plant and the Japanese government has confirmed that radiation is present in the atmosphere as fears mount that this could be the worst ever nuclear accident the world has experienced.
What has to be understood is that nuclear energy is the most dangerous way to boil water ever invented. There is no such thing as a 100 % safe nuclear power plant.
The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 has claimed nearly 1 000 000 lives while the 3 Mile Island accident in America in 1979 is regarded as the second worst nuclear disaster with the release of an unknown amount of radioactive contamination causing the evacuation of about 140 000 people.
The only safe Nuke is no Nuke and as a community in Jeffreys Bay, we cannot sit back and accept that a Nuclear Power Station will be constructed on our doorstep. One of the flaws in the Impact Studies conducted by Eskom was that the prevailing wind direction at Thyspunt is not South West. Should anything go wrong at a nuclear power plant built at this archaeological and ecological important stretch of coastline, St Francis Bay residents would stand very little chance of escaping unscathed.
The reluctant release of information about the radioactive contamination at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant as well as the truth about Chernobyl that only came to the fore 20 years afterwards, indicates that residents of Jeffreys Bay may also not receive adequate warning should a disaster occur at Thyspunt.
Nuclear energy is not safe. Renewable energy is the only logical way forward for the world to safely supply energy and meet the growing demand for power.