NUKES: Australia’s anti-nuclear precedent

It is easy to forget that South Africa was once the only country in the world to willingly give up its nuclear status. (Remember FW de Klerk came out as the good guy after decades of nuclear cronyism). All of this could change if we lose the looming battle against PBMRs and Mini-Koeberg.

So where do we stand? Australia’s New South Wales, passed a law in 1986 banning the construction of nuclear reactors such as those contemplated under South Africa’s nuclear programme adopted by an over-zealous Alec Erwin.

The URANIUM MINING AND NUCLEAR FACILITIES (PROHIBITIONS) ACT 1986 – SECT 8 prohibits the construction and operation of “(d) a nuclear reactor, whether or not designed for the purpose of generating electricity,” and is similar in scope to tribal laws passed by the Navajo Nation in the states of Utah , Arizona and New Mexico.

An intriguing possibility is that regional authorities in South Africa might one day, pass similar laws. Acting on a municipal and local level, South Africans could end the new Cold War and its double-lie of peaceful nuclear energy. Atomic weapons are just the tip of an iceberg that is based upon programmes such as our own PBMR.

As the only nation in the world to willingly relinquish nuclear bombs in exchange for peace, we need to keep our country clean of atomic energy, regardless of the consequences to our development. Why turn back the clock and destroy our progressive record? There are alternatives to war and costly nuclear plants. Renewable energy systems that utilise wind, wave and geothermal energy are available.


Leave a Reply