Earthlife Africa (Johannesburg)

4 June 2014

Africa: Nuclear Energy is Out for World Environment Day

press release

Every year on the 5th of June is World Environment Day: a day used by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to encourage global citizens to take positive environmental action and to protect the Earth. This year on June 5th Earthlife Africa Johannesburg will be hosting a series of pickets outside Eskom in protest against the environmental injustice that the potential nuclear build in South Africa will bring. The pickets will be held at the Eskom Regional Offices, corner of Harrison and Smit Streets, Braamfontein from 10:00 am to 13:00pm.

The potential nuclear expansion programme in South Africa is maintained as a mystery by the Department of Energy to the general public. Although nuclear technology is the most dangerous technology known to mankind and to the environment; the general public are kept in the dark about the progress of the government's plans to build a 4000MW nuclear power plant in the naturally pristine landscape of Thyspunt in the Eastern Cape. The massively expensive nuclear procurement and build will be facilitated by the financially constrained state electricity utility, Eskom.

Besides the undemocratic manner in which the government's nuclear plans are being handled, civil society groups are also concerned with the problem of nuclear waste, which is an inevitability of nuclear energy. The legacy of nuclear waste is inter-civilizational because it will remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands to a million years. In comparison, recorded human history only stretches back only 5000 years. Humankind has yet to find a responsible means by which to dispose of nuclear waste. For example high level radioactive waste remains stored at Koeberg, South Africa's only operational nuclear power station, waiting to be somebody else's problem on another day.

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