Do we really need a nuclear fleet?

Business Report, Mike Kantey 25 November 2012.

(Editor’s note: An excellent article, don’t be put off because it was written by a known anti-nuclear activist!)

Despite protestations by thousands of South Africans, our ANC-led government seems determined to spend over R1 trillion on a nuclear fleet, including a uranium enrichment plant, a fuel assembly plant, a reprocessing plant and a high-level waste management facility.

How has this impossibly expensive project been motivated and by whom?

Before the Integrated Resource Plan (the IRP2010) was finally promulgated, Eskom’s position was presented at the public meetings which were held along the coast to review the first draft of the Environmental Impact Report for “Nuclear-1” in March-April 2010.

During these meetings, Eskom presented a “Project Motivation” at Slide 7 in their presentation as follows:

l Increasing demand for electricity (> 4 percent growth per annum).

l Projected requirement for more than 40 000MW of new electricity-generating capacity over the next 20 years.

l In SA only coal and nuclear power are solutions for base load generation.

This first notion of a “four percent per annum” growth in electricity demand was explained on September 25, 2007 at an “Energy Summit” to which only the select few were invited.

Eskom’s Kannan Lakmeeharan suggested at Slide 3 of his presentation that due to economic growth and the government’s policy, ‘Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa’ (AsgiSA), it calculated that the load will grow at an aggregated value of 4 percent per annum from the current load of 34 807MW in 2007 to 93 776GW in 2030…

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