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Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant

When the previous head of government announced a deal to supply South Africa with nuclear energy in 2007 prior even to the Russian nuclear deal it was met with derision by certain factions which offensively painted it as a vanity project.


Any true and sincere leader of the largest economy and industry in Africa will be remiss if he / she does not ensure energy security for  such a country, the economy and industries in this country is driven by electricity.

The greatness of electricity is that by using it to drive electro-motors a little energy can be turned into massive force. This is what was the secret to the growth of our economy in the early 20th century and not so much the hard work of the Dutch descendants as propaganda would have us believe.

With the massive propaganda campaign against the so called dangers of nuclear energy due to ideological reasons and not good environmental reasons more Carbon is released into the atmosphere instead of less, talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

Credible figures depict that over the past 55 years, the use of nuclear power has reduced CO2 emissions by over 60 gig tonnes, thus  with greater use of nuclear the world can achieve greater efficiencies and achieve our Climate Change goals to reduce greenhouse gases.

Alongside renewables such as wind, solar etc.  increased  energy efficiency and other allied innovative technologies, nuclear energy can make a significant contribution to achieving sustainable energy goals and enhancing energy security not only for South Africa but for the world.

As I have said previously the delivery of cheap electricity was the catalyst whereby a small amount of energy can be converted into a massive amount of effort to drive our economy, which ensured us to be the giant in Africa.

With disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes it is only with a efficient and dependable source of electricity that rescue efforts could be reliably launched and with which the economy can be kickstart3ed to help the victims get back on their feet.

Many pro-environmentalists are so against Nuclear not realising that solar and wind is not as efficient and sustainable on a grid and need to be augmented by nuclear all over the world.

This is a similar function played by the open cycle gas turbines used by Eskom.  Wind and solar need to be augmented by nuclear in order to protect the grid from heavy fluctuations and the ONLY low carbon source is nuclear. Any other source such as open cycle gas turbines releases just too much CO2 into the atmosphere.

Nuclear power stations consume a miniscule amount of fuel to generate the same amount of electricity that a coal or gas power station would (1 kg of uranium = 2.7 million kg of coal), so they’re considered a reliable as well as sustainable source of energy for decades to come. It is more reliable to depend upon nuclear energy to achieve our climate change coals of reduced CO2 goals then to depend on any other source of energy.

Any cursory glance at the Greenpeace website against nuclear energy amazes you how anyone with common sense can be persuaded by the infantile information given there which are supposed to persuade the man in the street about how dangerous nuclear energy is. The outrageous claims are clear ideologically based and given a garb of scientific authenticity to fool the average reader.

The realist is that in our current economic post COVID-19economy we do not have time for ideological drama and drama queens but any responsible leadership need to take firm actions to safe guard the vulnerable people in this country.

 Right now it cost the economy nearly R750 million  for each day of load shedding. Many of our people can no longer afford , White Star or Lucky Star and the only star they face is Starvation. The cheapest loaf of bread the Day breaker now costs R17 up from R9 three years ago.

The anger of the people have shocked the nation in July 2021 and the pain of the high prices which is fuelled by load shedding is paining our people and I fear a situation of food riots which will not be able to be suppressed. No solider is going to shoot a hungry man, our police has already shown how corrupt they are and nothing the big brass will do can eradicate it as the political will is not there..

Where as in the past you will see once a month a homeless person collecting empty cans or bottles now you see everyday even people with RDP houses collection cans and bottles. The number of crimes  such as housebreakings and robberies are increasing everyday. This is all due to a direct result of load shedding. Chicken in one year jumped from R40 a kg to nearly R70 a kg.  Our people cannot afford to eat chicken anymore, it is something only the middle class can afford.

Even in the US and UK countries where there is a 2050 target to reduce CO2 emissions we find that existing nuclear power stations are uprated to have longer lifespans as well as for the inescapable fact that solar and wind needs nuclear to deliver a sustainable and efficient power supply to their countries and thus nuclear is fundamental for any energy mix.

So much is said about the dangers of nuclear waste but few forget that in the manufacturing highly toxic minerals are used and right now in the Far East many countries especially Singapore, Malaysia and Japan are in a quandary as what to do with the millions of PV panels which are now coming to the end of their lifespans.

Those who are opposed to nuclear energy normally based it on ideologically reasons and not environmentally based facts gathered over many years. We know it is safer to fly in an aeroplane from

Johannesburg to Cape Town then it is to cross the road.  Yet those people who oppose nuclear are like those who say they don’t want to fly as it is dangerous but they cross the road multiple times everyday.

To those who oppose nuclear I say “ don’t cross the road” and nuclear is not an option but a must for any modern economy .

Masibongwe Sihlahla

Independent Writer and Political Analyst

email : masibongesihlahla@gmail.com


Masibongwe Sihlahla Independent Writer / Political Analyst The Views Expressed Here are not those of Central News***

Masibongwe Sihlahla
Independent Writer / Political Analyst
The Views Expressed Here are not those of Central News***


DO YOU HAVE A NEWS STORY OR AN OPINION FOR CENTRAL NEWS: E-mail us : newsroom@centralnews.co.za or Whatsapp us on 0814955487

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