Today we ramped up the pressure on the South African government, urging them to reassess its flirtation with nuclear energy.
Over 20 activists wearing t-shirts reading “No nuclear – phansi nuclear phansi!” protested in front of the Department of Energy as a reminder to the government that it needs to adopt renewable energy instead.
At the protest we also handed over your petitions calling on the government to publicly respond to its concerns on the social and economic risks of nuclear power.
Six weeks ago we handed our latest report on the true cost of nuclear energy to the Minister of Energy, Dipuo Peters. The Greenpeace report highlights how South Africa’s investment in inherently unsafe nuclear technology would lock the country into an expensive and outdated energy future.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan has shown the world just what the true cost of a nuclear disaster can be. “Fukushima forced governments around the globe to reassess their nuclear plans and the impact of nuclear energy plants on their people and their environment,” said Greenpeace Africa’s Ferrial Adam.
We are demanding that the South African government places a moratorium on all new nuclear power stations until the safety implications of Fukushima have been fully evaluated. Minister Peters has not yet responded to Greenpeace.
“The South Africa government owes its citizens an answer as to why it is choosing a dangerous and expensive solution, when it has an abundance of renewable energy sources, like solar.”
"Nuclear energy is a dangerous distraction from the clean energy development needed to prevent catastrophic climate change. Nuclear power simply delivers too little, too late, and at too high a price for people and the environment," said Adam.
The Alternatives to Nuclear
Our Advanced Energy [R]evolution shows that almost half of the country's electricity can be produced from renewable sources by 2030, increasing to 94% by 2050.
“With Durban hosting the international climate negotiations COP17 later this year, South Africa has a unique opportunity to lead by example in becoming Africa's renewable energy leader,” added Adam.
"We need an Energy [R]evolution driven by the creation of green jobs. With decisive action and political leadership the government can secure the brighter future South Africans deserve. A future that is free of the threats posed by nuclear energy," concluded Adam.