http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.19Change: 0.02
R/$ = 11.57Change: -0.02
Au 1198.70 $/ozChange: 1.78
Pt 1201.50 $/ozChange: 4.00
 
 
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  
 
 
Aug 24, 2012

Stigma attached to nuclear industry must be removed

Back
Agriculture|Chernobyl|Pretoria|SECURITY|Africa|CoAL|Industrial|Nuclear|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Safety|Security|South African Nuclear Energy Corporation|Systems|Waste|Waste Management|Africa|China|France|Japan|Russia|South Africa|South Korea|Ukraine|United States|Security|Electricity Generation Processes|Energy|Energy-producing Industries|Mining|Nuclear|Nuclear Technology|Performance|Power Generation|Power-generation|Security|Security Systems|Systems|Environmental|Fionah Khathi|Power|Security|Van Zyl De Villiers|Waste|Operations
Agriculture|SECURITY|Africa|CoAL|Industrial|Nuclear|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Safety|Security|Systems|Waste|Waste Management|Africa||Security|Energy|Mining|Nuclear|Power Generation|Power-generation|Security|Systems|Environmental|Power|Security|Waste|Operations
agriculture|chernobyl|pretoria|security|africa-company|coal|industrial|nuclear-company|renewable-energy|renewable-energy-company|safety|security-company|south-african-nuclear-energy-corporation|systems-company|waste-company|waste-management|africa|china|france|japan|russia|south-africa|south-korea|ukraine|united-states|security-facility|electricity-generation-processes|energy|energy-producing-industries|mining|nuclear-industry-term|nuclear-technology|performance-industry-term|power-generation|power-generation-industry-term|security-industry-term|security-systems|systems|environmental|fionah-khathi|power|security-person|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
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Nuclear News
TINA JOEMAT PETTERSSON Government has held two nuclear vendor parade workshops
Government last month announced that it had successfully concluded the second nuclear vendor parade workshop with delegations from China, France, South Korea and the US, in its bid to source experienced nuclear energy partners to help with South Africa’s nuclear...
Article contains comments
Cabinet has approved a five-point plan to address the current strain on South Africa’s electricity system as well as the creation of a technical “war room” to undertake various interventions to improve supply security over the short and medium term. Since the start...
Article contains comments
Rosatom regional VP: sub-Saharan Africa Viktor Polikarpov
Russian nuclear vendor Rosatom has confirmed that it is considering various funding models, including the extension of a State loan, as part of its offer to South Africa for the building of a proposed new nuclear power plant (NPP) build programme. Speaking during an...
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
China appears to have been routinely underestimating output from its sprawling steel sector, with official figures for last year alone 40-million tonnes below a key industry estimate - an amount equivalent to Germany's entire annual production. Beijing has vowed to...
Lumwana, Zambia
Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp will suspend operations at its Lumwana copper mine, in Zambia’s Northwestern province, after the country enacted legislation that raised the royalty rate on openpit mining operations from 6% to 20%. TSX- and NYSE-listed Barrick, the world’s...
The Labour Court in Johannesburg has set aside the 2011-2014 metal sector wage agreement, the National Employers' Association of SA (Neasa) said on Thursday. The 2011-2014 wage deal was the result of an agreement between the Steel and Engineering Industries...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
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.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
TO BE PHASED INTO SERVICE The first MeerKAT dish, with another 63 to come
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
MATT BARKER Wireless networks should enable users to engage and must provide relevant information to them based on their activity and location
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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