http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.78Change: 0.21
R/$ = 13.14Change: 0.02
Au 1124.48 $/ozChange: -1.37
Pt 1001.00 $/ozChange: 19.50
 
 
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 Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Aug 24, 2012

Stigma attached to nuclear industry must be removed

Back
Agriculture|Chernobyl|Pretoria|Africa|CoAL|Health|Industrial|Mining|Modular|Nuclear|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Safety|SECURITY|South African Nuclear Energy Corporation|Storage|Systems|Waste|Waste Management|Africa|China|France|Japan|Russia|South Africa|South Korea|Ukraine|United States|Electricity Generation Processes|Energy|Energy-producing Industries|Nuclear Technology|Performance|Power Generation|Power-generation|Security Systems|Systems|Environmental|Fionah Khathi|Power|Van Zyl De Villiers|Waste|Operations
Agriculture||Africa|CoAL|Health|Industrial|Mining|Modular|Nuclear|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Safety|SECURITY|Storage|Systems|Waste|Waste Management|Africa||Energy|Power Generation|Power-generation|Systems|Environmental|Power|Waste|Operations
agriculture|chernobyl|pretoria|africa-company|coal|health|industrial|mining|modular|nuclear|renewable-energy|renewable-energy-company|safety|security|south-african-nuclear-energy-corporation|storage|systems-company|waste-company|waste-management|africa|china|france|japan|russia|south-africa|south-korea|ukraine|united-states|electricity-generation-processes|energy|energy-producing-industries|nuclear-technology|performance-industry-term|power-generation|power-generation-industry-term|security-systems|systems|environmental|fionah-khathi|power|van-zyl-de-villiers|waste|operations
© Reuse this



South Africa’s nuclear industry should engage more with the public in creating awareness of the benefits of the nuclear industry, says South African Young Nuclear Professionals Society chairperson Fionah Khathi.

She says the negative stigma surrounding the industry is fuelled by false perceptions and asserts that South Africa has strong regulatory and security systems in place.

South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) strategy and performance group executive Van Zyl de Villiers agrees with Khathi’s view that public concerns about nuclear safety and waste disposal are based on perception rather than fact.

“There are fewer fatalities in the nuclear industry than in other energy-producing industries. The emissions, as well as the potential health and environmental impacts, which stem from nuclear activities, are low, compared with many other industries,” he states.

De Villiers points out that negative perceptions of the industry are further exacerbated by concerns about nuclear weapons and nuclear disasters, such as those which occurred at Chernobyl, in present-day Ukraine, and Fukushima, in Japan.

However, he says the public should dispel these fears, as South Africa holds an excellent safety record in the industry.

While nuclear waste is a justifiable concern, he notes that the fears about this are also fuelled by scaremongering.

“What goes into a nuclear power station is controlled inside.

“We understand nuclear waste. We can contain it and monitor it. Radioactive waste decays over time, compared with some byproducts from other electricity generation processes, which stay toxic forever. The South African nuclear industry is working responsibly regarding waste,” he stresses.

Khathi adds that all practices in the nuclear industry are aligned with international standards but believes that South Africa’s standards on safety are stricter in some respects.

Necsa has a department dedicated to waste management, which has monitored and controlled on-site storage facilities at its main nuclear research centre, Pelindaba, west of Pretoria.

As a demonstration if its commitment to South Africa’s strong stance regarding the nonproliferation of nuclear technology, Necsa converted the fuel used in its Safari-1 reactor from high- to low-enriched uranium, in 2009.

Khathi also notes that the country has a safeguards agreement with a United Nations agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, for the inspection of any nuclear facility at any given time.

“South Africa has committed itself to a safe nuclear industry by implementing regulations, legislation and international standards of safety,” Khathi continues.

South Africa has a good, proud track record of nuclear safety and it is the only country that has voluntarily stopped its nuclear weapons programme.

Nuclear Outlook
Meanwhile, despite public perception, De Villiers believes nuclear power generation prospects in South Africa are good, given government’s commitment to nuclear energy in its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2010).

The IRP 2010 outlines the proposed power generation mix for South Africa for the next 20 years. Nuclear power is expected to contribute 9.6 GW of electricity of the proposed new electricity generating capacity, with the first 1 600 MW to come on line in 2023.

De Villiers states that, if South Africa is to reduce the environmental impact of coal, the IRP 2010 is a suitable way to begin.

“The IRP is a fair plan and it is appropriate. The country needs to go nuclear. We also need renewable energy sources, but they are complementary. We will need storage capacity for the energy produced by renewables. The storage is expensive and has not been proved on an industrial scale. It will be a long time before we have storage capacity for renewables to possibly make a contribution to base-load supply,” he predicts.

However, he says government’s focus on nuclear development should be to “get going” and create a skills base for the industry.

If the country is to build the skills base required for the industry, the capacity for this needs to be built collaboratively, he asserts.

He suggests that government initially builds the additional capacity and, as nuclear development gets under way, emphasis should be put on localisation.

However, the industry should also consider next-generation technology and retain an awareness of, as well as an involvement in international programmes, while increasing its involvement in these over time.

De Villiers says that there has been interest in the move towards fourth-generation reactors, which are smaller and more modular than traditional reactors.

“There is a worldwide trend towards fourth-generation reactors, which are intended to be safer, less prone to proliferation, economically competitive, economical to run and less environmentally hazardous,” he notes.

These reactors are being developed primarily in the US, France, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

Nuclear Applications
According to De Villiers, there are about 17 500 sealed radioactive sources in South Africa.

Various industries, such as the medical, agriculture, mining and food industries, use nuclear technology for their operations.

The medical industry in South African has been using nuclear applications for many years, while the food industry uses ionising radiation to kill bacteria, viruses or insects that may be present in spices.

One of the most innovative uses of nuclear technology has been in the fruit industry in the Western Cape, where it is used to reduce the amount of pests found near fruit.

Radiation is used in sterilising fruit flies to prevent them from breeding. This is known as the sterile insect technique.

Meanwhile, one of the most recent and interesting uses of nuclear technology in the medical field is positron emission tomography, which is an imaging technique that uses a small amount of radioactive material to reveal the condition of human tissue and organs.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Electricity News
Updated 6 hours ago Power lines connecting the east African states of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia are expected to be completed within the next three years, helping improve supplies and power trading, a senior Kenyan official said on Thursday. Power shortages are common...
Updated 7 hours ago South Africa’s successful Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has not only brought in hundreds of billions of rands in economic infrastructure investment but has also seemingly become the fulcrum of the country’s proposed...
Updated 7 hours ago Engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) says it has no intention of shifting its strategy away from the international natural resources market, notwithstanding the prevailing weak climate for commodities and a bleak immediate outlook. Speaking to...
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 6 hours ago South African water utility Rand Water’s Sedibeng Regional Sanitation Scheme will be undergoing major upgrades to unlock residential and business developments in the Vaal area, as well as parts of the south of Johannesburg, the Gauteng provincial Department of Human...
Updated 6 hours ago State-owned entity Land Bank has posted a 9.3% drop in profit from continuing operations year-on-year, citing a decline to R352.5-million in the 2015 financial year from R388.6-million in the 2014 period. The bank’s net cash position improved from R1.47-billion to...
Updated 6 hours ago Power lines connecting the east African states of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia are expected to be completed within the next three years, helping improve supplies and power trading, a senior Kenyan official said on Thursday. Power shortages are common...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises has welcomed the turnaround strategy of State-owned regional carrier South African Express (SAX). This was reported in a media statement issued by the Committee, following a briefing it received from the airline...
KARSTEN WELLNER The acquisition was aligned with the Ascendis international growth strategy of diversifying across different markets
Health and care brands group Ascendis Health last week announced its first international acquisition – an initial 49% stake in Spanish pharmaceutical group Farmalider for R210-million.
CYRIL RAMAPHOSA Attention needs to be paid to basic and secondary education, as well as higher education, vocational training and adult education
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa chaired a Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) meeting at the Pick n Pay regional offices in Johannesburg earlier this month, where it was revealed that baker was the third scarcest occupation in South Africa.
BRETT WALLACE Festo customers can physically test any electric drive applications in a controlled environment
The applications centre at multinational industrial automation company Festo’s Isando offices, in Ekurhuleni, will test and prove concepts and systems for clients to ensure that the systems deliver the intended value once installed, says Festo South Africa MD Brett...
Several Chinese companies plan to invest in infrastructure projects in Malawi, the Southern African country's investment and trade promotion body has revealed. Malawi Investment and Trade Centre CEO Clement Kumbemba says the prospective investors include China...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96