Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 20 October 2011 – Greenpeace Africa has once again spoken out against what it calls “the lunacy” of South African opening a R1 trillion tender for new nuclear plants and “the disastrous effect that this nuclear investment will have on the future of South Africa.”
All.Africa.com reports that a South African press report on the issue earlier this week prompted Greenpeace Africa to speak out once again.
South Africa is reported to be planning to open a tender for 9,600 MW of new nuclear energy requiring investment costs up to R1 trillion, and energy minister Dipuo Peters has announced that she has signed off on a proposal for new nuclear power plants. Her proposal will be presented to the South African Cabinet this week
Governments around the world are rethinking nuclear energy after the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan in March this year. The German government has decided to phase out nuclear energy, and a referendum in Italy saw 95% of Italians voting against the use of nuclear power.
Greenpeace Africa has also sent an open letter to all cabinet ministers, urging them to open up the discussion on nuclear energy as an energy option, and to be transparent in their decision-making on energy sources and selection of options.
Greenpeace Africa is requesting an opportunity to present its concerns on nuclear energy to cabinet before the planned discussion on the nuclear power plant proposal. “The decision being taken by cabinet must consider all concerns, before a final decision is made and we are potentially locked into an outdated technology that will deliver no energy before 2024,” it said.
Greenpeace says that data shows that almost half of the country’s electricity can be produced from renewable sources by 2030, increasing to 94% by 2050.
“South Africa has the potential to become a renewable energy technology hub for Africa, benefitting the people, the economy and the climate,” it adds.