SA nuclear energy prospects costly: EarthLife Africa

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Earthlife Africa has voiced opposition to the possibility of South Africa’s use of nuclear power in the future, saying it has a negative climate change impact and is costly.

This as the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy begins consultations in preparation for the development of the proposed 2 500 megawatt nuclear power plant building programme.

Three years ago, Earthlife Africa and other environmental groups succeeded in persuading a court to block a nuclear power agreement with Russia, signed under then-president Jacob Zuma.

Earthlife Africa’s spokesperson Makoma Lekalakala says they do not believe South Africa should build any more nuclear plants.

“Before any intentions to go ahead with the 2 500 megawatt, there should be proper public participation, which has not been done. The court previously found that they ruled against the Zuma case. Nuclear power is not safe at all. Considering the climate change impact, it is very costly and the waste that comes from the reactors – there is no place on earth where this can be stored,” says Lekalakala.

SA to embark on nuclear power based on affordability

Last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa will only embark on a nuclear project when it can afford it.

This followed an announcement by the Energy Ministry in October last year that government’s plans for additional power generation will include a variety of energy sources over the next decade.

Ramaphosa added that there are plans to extend the lifeline of the Eskom-owned Koeberg – South Africa’s sole nuclear power plant.

In the video below, Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says while coal remains the bulk of the country’s energy mix, additional nuclear capacity would be added in the future: