The general debate around nuclear is mostly misinformed and consequently a senseless debate to the public, says Des Muller Director, NuEnergy Developments, South Africa.
In an exclusive interview with African Utility Week, Muller said that although nuclear is a well-designed and regulated technology it is not very well understood due to perceived complexities and concerns around safety.
Sustainable energy planning
When looking at sustainable energy technologies, Muller explained: “In sustainable energy planning, three key criteria to be met are: Energy Security (supply meets demand) – Energy Equity (access to affordable energy by all) and Environmental Sustainability (pollution and climate change mitigation). Based on empirical evidence around the world, nuclear energy delivers to all three criteria at an unprecedented level making it a sensible decision.”
Des will be taking part in the upcoming Nuclear Power Africa conference during African Utility Week in Cape Town in May.
Addressing the fact that there is an estimated 600 million African’s without access to electricity, Muller remains astonished considering the vast amount of indigenous resources available.
“With over 600 million people without access to electricity in Africa, I am surprised at the lack of a sensible continental energy master plan.
“Fifty four countries in Africa trying independently to figure out their own energy needs does not make sense when regional energy planning can offer more efficient solutions.”
Instead of looking at technologies in silos, Muller believes that the energy sector should play a more versatile role by providing safe, reliable, affordable and clean energy for the country.
In his opinion, “this can only be achieved through a balanced combination of Thermal, Renewable/Hydro and Nuclear Energy.”
Sustainable energy systems should also be able to augment our water supplies, power an imminent electric transport sector and reduce our high transmission losses through decentralised coastal power generation.
Muller concluded: “It’s time for us to start observing, deciding and acting decisively in the energy sector. That alone will solicit the confidence and investment we desperately need in the African energy sector. Water and energy should play a more complimentary role.”
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