KOEBERG needs to be closed down, and the mini-Koeberg Pebble Reactors, stopped. Clearly concerns about safety are only half of the problem. A nuclear-chemical incident at the plant resulted in an outage and blackout across the country last week. Engineers have still not explained exactly how waste material will be disguarded, nor how much the decommissioning process is going to cost, nor how Capetonians would be evacuated in the event of a class 9 emergency. Koeberg has a lifespan of between thirty and forty years and is fast approaching its end.
The new Pebble Bed design is just as bad and only reproduces the Koeberg mess. While industrialists tinker with nuclear energy, wasting taxpayers money in the process, they are ignoring hot rocks in the ground – geothermal energy sources that are able to heat water and drive turbines with none of problems associated with mining uranium ore, extracting fissible material, and disposing of radiactive waste byproducts. Australia already has a thriving geothermal industry and South Africa’s geology is perfect for similar development.
Just look at all the hot water pouring out of the Capes’ Goudini Spa, from underground wells and fissues — proof that the energy exists and merely needs the know-how and willpower to be tapped. Will South Africa take a non-nuclear route, or simply reproduce the costly mistakes of the past? Only time can tell.
FORWARD TO A NUCLEAR-FREE, NON-SEXIST, NON-RACIST SOUTH AFRICA.