Zuma Must Not Get Caught in a Nuclear Trap

Feature story - March 4, 2011
With the announcement of cooperation agreements having been signed between South African and French energy companies, Greenpeace reiterates its call to President Zuma not to fall into the dangerous trap of nuclear energy.

The recently signed deals are nothing more than declarations of intention to collaborate in future.

Greenpeace’s energy campaigner Rianne Teule says “The French nuclear industry is in jeopardy, and needs a big international nuclear deal with countries like South Africa to save it. Following the French nuclear example would be nothing short of disastrous for South Africa, a country which can ill afford large investments in such risky, old-fashioned technology.”

Instead of making risky investments in nuclear, South Africa should be exploring renewable energy because of the opportunities it creates for jobs, energy security and the climate.

Nuclear is a dangerous and expensive distraction from sustainable development. Despite 40 years of nuclear experience and with 80% of France’s electricity coming from nuclear power plants, the country still has no solutions for problems of radioactive waste, proliferation and safety.

Renewables offer immediate opportunities to create major benefits for its people, its economy and the climate. President Zuma needs to choose a green development pathway as it is the only viable option for the country’s future.