Nuclear Energy not now, not ever, says Greenpeace

Press release - March 5, 2012
Cape Town, 5 March 2012 – Activists from Greenpeace Africa have today placed look-a-like radioactive barrels on Three Anchor 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 failed to answer thus far.

The South African government is barrelling ahead with its nuclear plans without consultation or transparency. In the recent budget speech, 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.

“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. [1]

11 March 2012 marks one year since Japan was struck by an earthquake and tsunami that triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Our thoughts remain with the 150 000 people who were forced to leave their homes with no hope of returning in the near future.

“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[2], as became apparent recently in Fukushima, Japan”  adds Adam.

The Fukushima Daiichi disaster has proven that the nuclear industry’s theory of safety is false.

“Historical evidence  - Fukushima Daiichi, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island – shows a major nuclear accident has occurred somewhere in the world about once every decade. The regular occurrence of reactor accidents contradicts the nuclear industry’s claim that such events are rare” continues Adam

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 calls 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


  • Ferrial Adam, Greenpeace Africa Climate & Energy Campaigner: +27 (0) 79 512 9373
  • Mbong Akiy,  Greenpeace Africa Communications Manager: +27 (0) 71 688 1274
  • Michael Baillie, Greenpeace Africa Web Editor :  +27 (0) 71 481 7702,

Notes to Editor:

[1] The report ‘True cost of Nuclear for South Africa’ is available on:

[2] The report ‘Lessons from Fukushima’ is available on:

[3] Today’s activity is part of a Global Day of Action

Images available – Contact Mbong Akiy