Pelindaba: Bureaucratic lies about radioactivity.


THERE’S a new bureaucratic lie about radiation doing the rounds, and it goes something like this — since background radiation is always present in the environment, a couple of extra roentgens won’t kill you. Which is like saying having a few x-rays for dinner is good for women and children and forgetting the nasty effects of gamma and other short bursts of radioactive energy on the human body.

I’m not a nuclear scientist but the point made by environmentalists seems to be that we need to eliminate the risk of radiation sickness and genetic mutation altogether because the effects of a nuclear disaster are so dire and the consequences so massive. The risks of another Chernobyl far outweigh any advantages, notwithstanding the side-effects on health — extra cancers, carcinomas, melanomas etc.

What Earthlife Africa are not weighing up unfortunately is the half-life of the plutonium still sitting at Pelindaba, the 200 000 years or so it will take for our nuclear programme to cool down and to get the surrounding environment back to normal. What they should be saying is that people who support nuclear energy are real fools – the same fools who believe putting asbestos in homes is economical. The same idiots who spray poisonous DDT to get rid of malaria, or pollute our rivers and destroy wetlands to increase production.

Lets end this debate once and for all by saying a big fat NO to nuclear energy, down with the dirty radiation lobby and YES to geothermal power, wave power, wind power and other sources of clean electricity. Lets work to free our continent from the antiquated Cold War nuclear industry and its terrible contribution to the arms race and in so doing, set an example for the rest of the world to follow.

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2 comments

  1. bbmatt

    It remains a heady issue, as always.

    On one side we have “greens” indicating it may be our short-term ticket to combat global warming until alternatives can be found and on the other a flat out NO.

    just a few links after 5 mins of searching :-

    Uranium Pebbles May Light the Way

    Girding Up For the Power Grid
    (article about alternative power sources)

    Nuclear power may be the only way, says chief scientist

    Germany shuts down nuclear plant

    Greens go nuclear over stations

    Bulgaria approves nuclear plant

    Indonesia approves nuclear plant

    New ‘Nuclear Battery’ Runs 10 Years, 10 Times More Powerful Discussion at PhysOrgForum

  2. davidrobertlewis

    TOPIC: “Technological choice in a developing country: A focus on nuclear power and genetically modified foods.”

    SPEAKER: Dr David Fig, independent environmental policy analyst

    DATE: Tuesday, 24 May 2005

    VENUE: T H Barry Lecture Theatre, Iziko Museum and Planetarium, Queen Victoria St

    TIME: 6.30pm – 8.00pm (drinks and snacks served from 6.00pm)

    RSVP: Email: wolpetrust@mweb.co.za / Tel: 021 424 7543

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