Skip to main content

Fighting Anti-Nuclear FUD in South Africa

Over the course of the past several weeks, I've noticed a lot of anti-nuclear activity coming out of South Africa. Now, by way of the blog Commentary, I see that it's bled through to the national television network there. Fortunately, not everyone is buying what they're selling:
More importantly though, one thing the anti-nuclear lobby in SA can never really explain is what we should be using instead of nuclear power. Because after all, this is all about choices: We still have a serious need to generate huge amounts of electricity, the only question is how we’re going to provide it. The standard alternative provided by environmental groups (and Carte Blanche) is to use wind or solar power instead, but this is like claiming you could use bamboo to build skyscrapers. Wind energy and solar power, while they have their place, are far too inefficient and unreliable to provide the continuous and reliable base-load power we need, and at best can only supplement traditional power generation options. It’s certainly not even feasible, economically or otherwise, to think about using solar or wind power to generate the electricity for even a smallish S.African city.

That leaves only two real options: Nuclear power or, alternatively, that big old dirty but reliable elephant in the room, coal. Nothing else provides the type of energy we require. So if we are to abandon nuclear power, as Earthlife Africa and others demand, the only true option available to SA is to build more coal power stations, regardless of their CO2 emissions. Is that really what these environmentalists want? I suspect most haven’t thought it through, since they choose to believe instead that nuclear power is a conspiracy by people who, I dunno, enjoy radiation or something and choose to ignore solar and wind power because they’re evil.

Fact is, faced with the combination of a severe power crunch and the looming shadow of global warming, nuclear power is the only power generation option that makes any sense and is available now. It provides safe, reliable and efficient power while emitting zero CO2. Frankly, I think it’s brilliant.
For more on South Africa from our archives, click here.

Comments

Luke said…
And, what's more, South Africa, with their strong grounding in PBMR technology, has the potential to be a world leader in using the some of the world's safest, most user-friendly, novel and exciting nuclear reactor technology.

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…