An independent in depth report on the Fukushima nuclear disaster commissioned by the Japanese parliament was released in July 2012, and it comes to some very important conclusions. As Eskom attempts to get approval to build three more nuclear plants along the southern coast, South Africa should be looking very closely at this report to see if there are lessons we should learn from it.
The earthquake or the tsunami?
The tsunami swamping the sea barrier at Fukushima
The nuclear industry has repeatedly made the claim Continue reading →
First published in Business Day, 23 July 2012
The nuclear power industry is deeply troubled, with little cause for optimism. There is growing worldwide public resistance to nuclear power stations, President Obama has terminated government subsidies in the USA for nuclear power, and Germany and Switzerland have committed to shutting down all their reactors. While the renewable energy industry has seen dramatic growth and constantly falling costs, the nuclear industry grapples with spiralling costs, the seemingly intractable waste disposal issue, and the ongoing huge economic and human costs of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Continue reading →
It is not unusual for those who favour nuclear power to downplay the effects of nuclear disasters that have happened. In the article “Nuclear power is a key part of SA’s future”, attributed to the South African Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters, I came across this example: ‘The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to Fukushima at the end of May 2011 concluded that “to date no confirmed long-term health effects to any person have been reported as a result of radiation exposure from the nuclear accident”‘. Continue reading →
Germany has been in the news recently for announcing that it has scrapped all plans for using nuclear power in the future. The magnitude of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima and the radioactive contamination there resulted in German voters making it very clear that any party supporting nuclear expansion would be in trouble in the polls. For the first time in history, the German Green Party won a regional election.
Goeddenhenrich and Becker discuss solar PV at the Hout Bay Green Faire
But what about the 26 new coal power stations that Germany is planning to build as a result of abandoning nuclear power? Continue reading →
“No Nuclear, No – we want clean energy”. Cape Town’s youth are adding their voices to the call for a clean energy future in South Africa.
In 2010 they came together to protest government’s plans to build more nuclear power stations + encourage South Africans to stand up for their rights to a clean, safe future, free of toxic radioactive waste – a future based on sustainable, renewable (truly Ayoba) energy.
This riveting talk by Peter Becker of the Koeberg Alert Alliance explores the issues of Nuclear based power generation and debunks the myths around renewable energy use.
If you have ever wanted to understand the bigger picture of energy generation and separate the facts from the spin of the pro nuclear industry then Nuclear 101 is the place to start.
Part 1 – covers issues of the fuel for Nuclear Power, the radioactive waste generated by nuclear power stations and related human and environmental risks.
Part 2 – covers problems at Cape Town’s Koeberg Nuclear plant e.g. leakages and security as well as Koeberg’s emergency response plan.
Part 3 – looks at global energy trends, renewable energy, energy and job creation, base load energy provision, debunks various renewable energy myths and looks at ways we can address global warming.