Activists from Greenpeace Africa have placed look-a-like radioactive barrels on a Three Anchors Bay beach in Sea Point, Cape Town to highlight the risks and true costs associated with nuclear power. Through the simulated radioactive pollution, Greenpeace aims to encourage South Africans to ask the key questions that the government has so far failed to answer.
Our government is barrelling ahead with its nuclear plans without consultation of public stakeholders or transparency to its plans. In the recent budget speech by Minister Gordhan, there was no mention of the R300 billion allocated to the nuclear energy plans in the country.
The amount, however, has been said to be as much as R1 trillion. It is the largest tender in South Africa's history.
“The uncertainty and inconsistency in the estimated nuclear costs are indicative of the secrecy within the nuclear sector and are the tip of the iceberg of the real and true costs of nuclear energy,” says Ferrial Adam, Greenpeace Africa Nuclear campaigner.
“The government’s rushed decision to build six additional nuclear reactors is a clear indication that the South African government is not learning from the systemic failures around the world’s nuclear industry, as became apparent recently in Fukushima, Japan” adds Adam.
Historical evidence - Fukushima Daiichi, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island – shows a major nuclear accident has occurred somewhere in the world about once every decade.
Would you be at risk from a nuclear meltdown? Find out with this interactive map that shows you how close you and your friends live to a nuclear reactor.
Globally, nuclear energy is declining. In the last five years, 22 times more renewable energy capacity has been built than nuclear energy. Today, nuclear energy is only responsible for about 6% of the global energy supply.
Greenpeace Africa is calling on the South African government to be open and transparent about the nuclear build process and to engage with citizens on the country’s nuclear future.
“Nuclear energy is a dirty energy source that offers too little, too late, at too high a price. The South African government can still make the wise decision to stop nuclear and invest in renewable energy now. It is not too late,” concludes Adam.
Join us in asking government to phase out nuclear power and invest in renewable energy now!