Nuclear power in South Africa
I have to say that I am getting sick and tired of corporations and government taking us for a ride. Everything seems to be about money, we take it for granted these days that the decisions made are not necessarily the best for the people but they will definitely be most beneficial for the already wealthy elite.
Look at the arms deal. Anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together knows that there was bribery and corruption involved. We spent R5 billion buying weapons of war, which then grew into 10 billion because of inflation and exchange rates. In the mean time our army is in such a shambles that we wouldn’t be able to use those weapons if we tried. R10 billion can buy a lot of low cost houses and can build a lot of clinics (fyi, the figures of R5 and R10 billion are just and ballpark guesses, I can’t remember the exact amounts).
The next ride we’re being taken on (well, there have been many but this is the next one I want to talk about) is nuclear power. I’m not going to go into the details here, but it is abundantly clear (read 10 reasons here) that nuclear power is not the solution to our energy problems in SA. However, because some companies and people stand to make a ton of money, you can bet your bottom dollar that your tax money will be paying for the construction of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor. Who cares about what’s right for the people, who cares about what’s right for the environment, as long as some powerful people can make lots of money we are going to go for it.
This really frustrates me.
If you are interested in learning more about the issues around nuclear power in SA, there is a documentary called Uranium Road showing at the Labia on the 9th (6:15pm), 10th & 11th (8:30pm) of Dec 2007. I have appended a description of the documentary below. Tickets are R20 and you can book seats (recommended) by calling the Labia on 021 424 5927.
There are also some very informative articles on this topic on the Biophile website.
Uranium Road explores one of the most important and emotive questions facing South Africa: is nuclear power the answer to our uncertain energy future? When it was shown on MNet’s Carte Blanche recently Uranium Road caused an outcry from supporters of atomic energy and a flurry of letters to newspapers and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission.
Based on the book by Dr David Fig, this brand-new, locally produced documentary looks behind the veil of secrecy surrounding South Africa’s nuclear programme. Strongly opposed to nuclear energy, Uranium Road investigates the country’s billion rand atomic industry, claiming that it relies on technology the safety and economy of which have yet to be proven, is controlled by powerful cliques and fundamentally undermines the principles of our young democracy.
Providing rare insights into the history of the country’s secretive nuclear industry, this documentary chronicles how Apartheid-era South Africa developed a nuclear program and built several atomic weapons. South Africa’s current plans to revitalize its nuclear industry are judged against the background of an international nuclear industry that has not been able to solve basic problems of excessive cost, the threat to human health and safety, and long-term environmental contamination.
Whether you are against nuclear power or believe that atomic energy is the solution to our energy problems, you can’t afford to miss this eye-opening and thought-provoking documentary.