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More secrets, more money, less accountability Zuma Takes Over Nuclear Coordination in South Africa via Greenpeace

In a recent article in the Mail and Guardian it was revealed that President Zuma has taken over as the chairperson of the National Nuclear Energy Coordinating committee.

In a recent article in the Mail and Guardian it was revealed that President Zuma has taken over as the chairperson of the National Nuclear Energy Coordinating committee.

The confirmation of the take-over and the underhanded manner in which Deputy President Kgalema Mothlanthe was replaced both highlight the continued lack of transparency and ongoing secrecy by government when it comes to the country’s nuclear energy plans.

But there is more evidence of a complete disregard for transparency.

According to a recent article in Engineering News, the Director General of the Department of Energy stated that the revised Integrated Resources Plan will continue to include nuclear power, even if the public opposes it.

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In a recent World Nuclear Industry Status Report that looked at the role of nuclear energy on a global scale, nuclear’s share of global commercial primary energy production plunged to 4.5%.

Furthermore, over the past five years, of 15 nuclear utilities assessed in the report, 10 were downgraded by credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, four utilities remained stable, and only one was upgraded. Rating agencies clearly consider nuclear investments as risky options — and the abandoning of nuclear projects are obviously “credit positive”.

“The reality is that, even putting aside the issues of safety, security, and waste management, South Africa cannot afford new nuclear power plants and the stubbornness of the government on its delusions of grandeur would drive the country to bankruptcy,” cautioned Adam.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), power generation from hydro, wind, solar and other renewable sources worldwide will exceed that from gas and be twice that of nuclear by 2016.

“It is time for government to make smart choices and invest in a sustainable state-owned RE plan. The time of irresponsibility, trial and error is over – all of us need to act.” concluded Adam.

 

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