back to radiation | rat haus | Index | Search | tree

( ASCII text format )

Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 09:31:26 +0200
From: Muna Lakhani <>
Subject: secret international nuclear panel meet in SA
To: dave

Please share with all media!!

Johannesburg Branch
PO Box 11383 Johannesburg 2000
Tel: (011) 4036056
Fax: (011) 339 4584
Fundraising number: 01 100914 0008

Media Release
Secret meeting of international nuclear panel

In a process reminiscent of the apartheid days, an international panel of "experts" are meeting to discuss and debate the feasibility study for the proposed Pebble Bed Nuclear Reactor (PBMR), under the aegis of the Department of Minerals and Energy.

The process to date has excluded civil society completely, and is being carried out behind closed doors. "The first feasibility study was withdrawn by Eskom, as we were able to find many flaws in it" says Nuclear Energy Costs the Earth Campaign Co-ordinator, Muna Lakhani. "It seems that they are afraid that we will do the same to this one. All our research to date shows that the PBMR, at best, and getting everything right the first time, will cost over R3.3 billion over it's proposed 40 year life. This is more than sufficient to install safe and clean wind turbines, for example, and easily generate the same amount of electricity over the period, with no radiation or long term radioactive waste hazard. The alternatives will also create many more jobs than the PBMR ever could."

The Department of Minerals and Energy is hosting the panel, who, sources say, have had access to the feasibility study for a while. Dave Nicholls, CEO of PBMR Pty. Ltd. is on record as stating that he sees no reason for civil society to have access to the feasibility study.

The Scoping Report of the ongoing Environmental Impact Assessment is also problematic. Civil society organisations, such as the Koeberg Alert Alliance, say:

"We cannot exclude the health aspects of radiation from an Environmental Impact Assessment, since the whole point is to evaluate the impact on human and environmental health. We also know that nuclear power generation can affect all of life for many thousands of years to come. We therefore insist that the impact of high-level radioactive spent fuel must be included in the EIA. We further believe that the financial and environmental risks cannot simply be projected into the future, as this contradicts completely the principle of sustainability."

"The risk capital is using public funds; the profits, if any, will go to private companies, including those in the USA and UK; the problem of the waste, and a suitable repository that will require monitoring for thousands of years, will be paid for by public funds alone. This must be seen as immoral," says Lakhani.

Letters have been sent to the NNR, Dept. of Environmental Affairs & Tourism and DME for urgent meetings around this issue.

Issued by: Nuclear Energy Costs the Earth Campaign -- Johannesburg
Contact: Muna Lakhani 082-416-9160

Davin Chown -- Earthlife Africa Cape Town -- Cell: 083-460-3898

Liziwe McDaid -- Earthlife Africa Cape Town -- Fax: 021-683-5182

Koeberg Alert Alliance -- C/o Mike Kantey -- 021-686-8345 -- Cell: 082-731-0816

Organisations against a Nuclear Development Path in South Africa who are supporting the Nuclear Energy Costs the Earth Campaign.
(as of 1 October 2001)

South African Organisations:


back to radiation | rat haus | Index | Search