http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.70Change: -0.03
R/$ = 10.96Change: 0.00
Au 1197.67 $/ozChange: -0.78
Pt 1228.50 $/ozChange: -1.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Oct 08, 2010

Concerns about a nuclear-powered South Africa

Back
Cape Town|Construction|Gold|Africa|Eskom|Mail & Guardian|Nuclear|Pelindaba Working Group|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Safety|Sustainable|Waste|Africa|South Africa|Hartbeespoort Dam|Able-energy Plants|Baseload Energy|Electricity Crisis|Energy|Energy Crisis|Energy Sources|Gas Clouds|Insurance Liability|Local Umbrella|Maintenance|Mining|Nuclear|Nuclear Energy|Renewable Energy|Uranium Mining|Environmental|Christine Garbett|Dipuo Peters|Dominique Gilbert|Judith Taylor|Karen De Villiers|Power|Waste|Mail & Guardian|Radiation
Construction|Gold|Africa|Eskom|Nuclear|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Safety|Sustainable|Waste|Africa|||Energy|Maintenance|Mining|Nuclear||Environmental|Power|Waste||
cape-town|construction|gold|africa-company|eskom|mail-guardian|nuclear-company|pelindaba-working-group|renewable-energy|renewable-energy-company|safety|sustainable|waste-company|africa|south-africa|hartbeespoort-dam|able-energy-plants|baseload-energy|electricity-crisis|energy|energy-crisis|energy-sources|gas-clouds|insurance-liability|local-umbrella|maintenance|mining|nuclear-industry-term|nuclear-energy|renewable-energy-industry-term|uranium-mining|environmental|christine-garbett|dipuo-peters|dominique-gilbert|judith-taylor|karen-de-villiers|power|waste|mail-guardian-published-medium|radiation-technology
© Reuse this



While Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has said that a fleet of six nuclear power stations is on the cards for South Africa, local umbrella group Coalition Against Nuclear Energy (Cane) believes that there are many unanswered questions pertaining to the use of nuclear energy as an answer to South Africa’s electricity crisis.

Cane comprises community organisations, residents asso- ciations, nongovernmental organisations, academics, professionals, unionists, environmentalists and ordinary citizens, most of whom are concerned about the “unnecessary and heavily subsidised costs, nuclear safety and the unresolved problem of long-term spent fuel storage”.

Cane’s Christine Garbett says: “A mix of renewable energy and pumped storage is equal to nuclear in supplying the country’s baseload energy, but has the advantage of about seven times more sustainable jobs and all the advantages of a low-carbon economy.”

Member of the Cane organisation the Pelindaba Working Group spokesperson Dominique Gilbert says that alternative energy sources, like concentrating solar power, are still expensive, compared with government’s current estimates for the construction of nuclear power plants, but it has failed to include the cost of aspects such as State subsidies, the disposal of nuclear waste, insurance liability, and externalities that include health risk and worker compensation, into the overall expense of generating nuclear power.

Gilbert explains that she believes that there is increasing proof of nuclear energy being economically unviable and having health implications. “The solution to South Africa’s energy crisis is decentralised power, where regions are able to establish their own renew- able-energy plants that are suitable to their terrain and conditions. This will not only create local jobs, but will also allow excess power to be fed into the grid.”

Nongovernmental environmental organisation Greenpeace points out that uranium mining is a highly intensive process, as uranium must be mined, milled, converted, enriched, converted again and then manufactured into fuel.

Nonprofit environmental organisation Earthlife Africa’s Judith Taylor explains that employees of uranium mines are also putting their health at risk, as they are exposed to radiation.

A 1999 report by Mail & Guardian says that an inspection carried out by the Council for Nuclear Safety (CNS) in May to August 1998 showed that more than 1 000 mine workers in the Free State were exposed to a yearly radiation dose five times higher than permissible.

In 1994, the CNS reported that 9 600 gold-mine workers were exposed to radioactive dust and gas clouds in the workplace that ranged between 20 millisievert (mSv) and 50 mSv each year.

However, the World Nuclear Association says: “The safety record of the uranium-mining industry is good. Radiation dose records compiled by mining companies under the scrutiny of regulatory authorities have shown consistently that mining company employees are not exposed to radiation doses in excess of the limits. The maximum dose received by mine- workers is about half of the 20-mSv/y limit and the average is about one-tenth of it.”

When a nuclear power station is ope- rational, it emits relatively little carbon dioxide. However, Gilbert believes that the nuclear industry fails to mention the carcinogens, such as caesium, strontium, and tritium, which are emitted by nuclear plants.

“The nuclear industry in South Africa is unsure about how long it will have to manage nuclear waste. We have already had leaks at South Africa’s main nuclear research centre Pelindaba, near the Hartbeespoort dam, in Gauteng, and at Africa’s only nuclear power station, Koeberg, 30 km north of Cape Town,” adds Gilbert.

Meanwhile, a News24 report on September 20, stated that 91 Eskom workers were contaminated with a small amount of radiation while performing maintenance work at Koeberg.

Eskom spokesperson Karen de Villiers said that, during maintenance on Koeberg Unit One, 91 workers tested positive for cobalt 58 as they left the site on September 12. It is believed that they were contaminated by airborne radiation, possibly from dust particles.

Gilbert explains that epidemiological studies have yet to be implemented to determine the effect of nuclear plants on surrounding populations.

Edited by: Brindaveni Naidoo
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Electricity News
Professor Anton Eberhard
The Department of Energy (DoE) confirmed on Wednesday that the second nuclear vendor parade workshop, which took place at a venue in the Drakensberg, had been concluded with delegations from China, France, South Korea and the US. The first such workshop, which was...
Article contains comments
Eskom has asked its staff to consider voluntary retrenchment packages, a spokesman confirmed on Wednesday. "We can confirm that we have announced the process by which employees can apply for voluntary separation packages," spokesman Andrew Etzinger said.
Eskom capital division group executive Dan Marokane
Electricity utility Eskom says it and Anglo American have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that maps out the process to be followed to enable the parties to conclude a final coal-supply contract for the Kusile power station, which is currently being...
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
A Spoor & Fisher partner on Wednesday called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to finalise its proposed policy for Intellectual Property (IP). The policy, which had not been drafted in consultation with IP law experts, was published in September 2013,...
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu has called on all government leaders to play a crucial role in ensuring that government departments and entities improve their audit outcomes. He has raised concerns over irregular expenditure, non-compliance with legislation, auditees...
The Somalia Stock Exchange expects seven companies in the telecoms, financial services and transport sectors to list their shares when the bourse is set up in 2015, its founder said. Somalia's economy is slowly recovering from more than two decades of conflict,...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
JAMES ROBERTS The MOM incubator was designed to help babies in developing nations who were dying in conflict-struck nations or who do not receive hospital care
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks