Fin24

Nuclear energy a boon for Africa

2012-05-31 09:47

Johannesburg - Nuclear energy would help Africa realise its energy security goals, the energy minister said in Johannesburg on Thursday.

"We cannot, because we are black, end up having a dark continent," Dipuo Peters said at a business breakfast hosted by The New Age.

South Africa was rich in uranium reserves that could be used to create an abundance of energy.

"God gave us these resources and we must use them," she said.

Africa needed to take a proactive role and would not be bystanders in the energy revolution.

Earlier in the week, Greenpeace activists protested against the expansion of the nuclear energy on the continent and claimed Peters had not adequately responded to their concerns. Peters said she believed further engagement was needed, but felt the environmental group was not prepared to compromise.

"(Greenpeace) don't want nuclear, you don't want hydro, coal. It's important they understand we are an energy intense economy."

Peters said President Jacob Zuma had given her the mandate to "demystify" nuclear power to overcome public concerns. Aspects of nuclear technology were already used in hospitals, desalination plants, and in agriculture.

The government was also in the final stages of establishing a nuclear waste management institute, which would keep the public informed of measures to deal with nuclear by-products.

Concerns about fracking, or hydrolic fracturing, to extract shale gas reserves needed to be overcome through research and technology.

"We cannot allow a blessing to lie fallow... If shale gas is one of the blessings, we are going to go for it," Peters said.

It was essential, however, that the process was not rushed. The technology involved in fracking was established in other countries, such as Australia and the United States, and similar to that used in processing gold. Means of extracting the shale gas safely would benefit the people of the Karoo, she said.

Asked about the tender processes associated with the expansion of the nuclear industry, Peters appeared amused at South Africa's preoccupation with tenders.

"Why should we always be tenderising everything?"

 

Comments
  • Horst - 2012-05-31 10:21

    Well, here is a minister who can think clearly and rationally. I certainly support her.

      Jean - 2012-05-31 11:15

      So it makes sense to you to use nuclear energy rather than to harness sun and wind? I mean every country is changing their energy supply, why build coal power stations and nuclear plants when they will any have to build greener plants in the future and since most of Africa doesn't have polluting plants, shouldn't they just start using the resources mention above so that Africa stays a low carbon emitter.

  • Horst - 2012-05-31 10:27

    Well, here is a minister who can think clearly and rationally. I certainly support her.

  • G√ľnter - 2012-05-31 11:18

    And insanity prevails, the rest of the world switches of and we want to start building new nuclear

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-05-31 22:48

    Why don't you , minister go ahead and use some arsenic? It is a natural resource too. "God gave us these resources and we must use them," she said.

  • UraniumFestival - 2012-06-02 15:31

    INVITATION - URANIUM FILM FESTIVAL RIO DE JANEIRO STARTS JUNE 28TH ART, FILMS & DEBATE ABOUT NUCLEAR ENERGY AND URANIUM RISK The 2nd International Uranium Film Festival starts 6 days after the next Earth Summit (Rio plus 20) in the Cinema of the famous Modern Art Museum of Rio de Janeiro called MAM. Between June 28th until July 14th, the Uranium Film Festival will screen over 50 films from all continents about Atomic Bombs, Nuclear Energy, Uranium Mining, Depleted Uranium and radioactive dangers. WWW.URANIUMFILMFESTIVAL.ORG CONTACT: INFO@URANIUMFILMFESTIVAL.ORG

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