Greenpeace Condemns SA's Nuclear Plans

Has government not seen the news of Japan lately?

Feature story - March 18, 2011
Greenpeace strongly condemns cabinet's decision to include 9 600 MW of additional nuclear energy into South Africa’s new energy plan -- this while Japan continues to struggle with a nuclear crisis after the devastating earthquake and tsunami last week Friday.

In addition to nuclear power, the role that coal will play in South Africa’s energy future will also increase. This will be done through two of the biggest coal-fired power stations in the world, Medupi and Kusile.

“For South Africa's cabinet to have taken this bizarre decision, it must have been meeting in isolation for days without any access to the news,” said Dr Rianne Teule, Greenpeace Nuclear Expert.

“In the light of the Japanese nuclear crisis, governments and people around the world are asking themselves if nuclear power is worth the risk and human suffering. On the contrary, Zuma’s government is asking the nuclear industry where to sign, while South Africans are not being consulted at all.”

Earthlife Africa Protest, Johannesburg

At a protest organised by Earthlife Africa outside the Eskom buildings in Johannesburg, March 17 2011, South Africans urged government to see that 'nuclear is not the answer!'

“South Africans living near the potential sites for new nuclear reactors must be wondering where they could go if an accident like this happened here.”

Urging a rethink

We urge the government to rethink its coal and nuclear plans. Instead of dirty and dangerous power generation, it should be working towards a true energy revolution by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energies.

“Although the new plan seems to indicate a positive and substantial increase in renewable energy in the next 20 years, it's still not good enough. President Zuma should follow China’s decision to suspend new reactors, and drop all nuclear power from the IRP2010,” concluded Melita Steele, climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Africa.