Expanded Nuclear energy, South Africa

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns">South Africa first built nuclear reactors in the 1980s with help from France. The power plants created ostensible justification for the building of enrichment plants, but the main output of the latter was highly enriched uranium dedicated to supplying a nuclear weapons programme. This was cancelled on the eve of the democratic transition, and no one has been held to account for developing weapons of mass destruction. The current government tried in vain to develop a pebble bed reactor but had to give up after costs proved excessive and because the project was going nowhere. In the wake of an electricity shortage, it has once again turned to nuclear to provide part of the energy mix. It intends by the end of 2012 to order around 8 new reactors at a value of ZAR300 billion (although commentators predict cost escalations to over three times that amount), the largest contract ever put to tender by the government. This project aims at securing 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear power. It is opposed by many EJOs, local, national and global, who argue that in the wake of Fukushima this is a risky path to energy security, cannot address climate change, will lead to greater national debt, and cannot resolve questions of high level waste, which will burden many future generations. <br/><br/></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Expanded Nuclear energy, South Africa</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/south-africa">South Africa</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Various</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Cape Town, Bantamsklip, Thyspunt, Vaalputs, Pelindaba</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>LOW country/state level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Nuclear</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Uranium extraction<br /> Nuclear waste storage<br /> Nuclear power plants<br /> Military installations</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/electricity'>Electricity</a><br /><a href='/commodity/uranium'>Uranium</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns">Once a large producer of uranium, South Africa now only contributes about 1 percent of global supply. Nuclear provides around 5 percent of just under 40 gigawatts of electricity (2012) but government plans to treble the nuclear contribution by 2030 (to 9.6 GW of nuclear-generated electricity). To do so, it needs to start a new tendering process to order nuclear reactors by the end of 2012. It has earmarked new sites around the coast for the location of the new nuclear power stations (at Thyspunt and Bantamsklip). <br/><br/></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>38,000,000,000 - 125,000,000,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Urban</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>40 million electricity consumers</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>2011</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/eskom'>ESKOM</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/south-africa'><small>South Africa</small></a> - <small> state enterprise</small><br /><a href='/company/areva'>Areva <small>(Areva)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/france'><small>France</small></a><br /><a href='/company/toshiba'>Toshiba</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/japan'><small>Japan</small></a><br /><a href='/company/russatom'>Russatom</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/russia'><small>Russian Federation</small></a><br /><a href='/company/china-guangdong'>China Guangdong</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/china'><small>China</small></a><br /><a href='/company/kepco'>KEPCO</a><br /><a href='/company/westinghouse-electric-corporation'>Westinghouse Electric Corporation</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/united-states-of-america'><small>United States of America </small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Department of Energy, Department of Environment , National Nuclear Regulator, Nuclear Energy Corporation of S A (state enterprise, currently responsible for nuclear waste management)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">International and Financial Institutions</td><td><a href='/institution/world-bank'>The World Bank <small>(WB)</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Earthlife Africa, Coalition Against Nuclear Energy, Greenpeace Africa, South African Faith Communities Environmental Initiative, Energy Coalition, Koeberg Alert Alliance, Bantamsklip Alliance, Thyspunt Alliance, Namakwaland Aksiegroep vir die Omgewing, Pelindaba</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>PREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Farmers<br /> Fishermen<br /> Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Social movements<br /> Women<br /> Recreational users<br /> Local scientists/professionals<br /> Religious groups</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Development of a network/collective action<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Street protest/marches<br /> Occupation of buildings/public spaces</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Waste overflow</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Militarization and increased police presence</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>Proposed (exploration phase)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Corruption<br /> Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area<br /> Court decision (victory for environmental justice)<br /> Strengthening of participation<br /> Fostering a culture of peace<br /> New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>An end to the nuclear power generation industry in South Africa.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Not Sure</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>It will take a major effort to break the power of the nuclear lobby and its capture of the state apparatus.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Nuclear Energy Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> National Nuclear Regulator Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> National Environmental Management Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Nuclear energy, nuclear waste policy documents<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Integrated Resource Plan 2010 documentation<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Energy white paper, renewable energy white paper<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Fig, D. 2007. Uranium Road: Questioning South Africas Nuclear Direction. Johannesburg: Jacana.<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Fig, D. 2010. Nuclear Power Rethink? The Rise and Demise of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor. Pretoria: Institute of Strategic Studies.<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Greenpeace Africa. 2011. The True Cost of Nuclear Energy in South Africa. Johannesburg: Greenpeace.<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Hallowes D. 2011. Toxic futures. Pietermaritzburg: UKZN Press.<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Teaching Screens. 2008. Uranium Road (54-minute documentary).<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Business Day <br/><a class="refanch small" href="www.bdfm.co.za" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Business Report <br/><a class="refanch small" href="www.iol.co.za/businessreport" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Engineeering News <br/><a class="refanch small" href="www.engineeringnews.co.za" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Mail & Guardian <br/><a class="refanch small" href="www.mg.co.za" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Noseweek <br/><a class="refanch small" href="www.noseweek.co.za" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Earthlife Africa <br/><a class="refanch small" href="www.earthlife.org.za" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Greenpeace Africa <br/><a class="refanch small" href="www.greenpeace.org/africa" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>David Fig</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>08/04/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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