South Africa can manage a nuclear programme

  • Ben Franklin

    The author has little respect for facts where he states:–

    “Most renewable technologies have an expected lifetime of about 25 years. But these are comparatively new technologies and have not had 25 years to prove themselves. In contrast, nuclear energy has a demonstrated lifetime of 60 years and more.”

    Yet according to http://cleantechnica.com/2011/12/27/solar-panels-creating-electricity-for-much-longer-than-20-years/ solar panels at the Technical University of Berlin had been in operation for more than 31 years by 2011, and probably several years longer by now. And several Kyocera installations were still in operation after 30 years by 2011, and at least some of those are probably still in operation now.

    The second part of the claim is vastly exaggerated:– the world’s oldest operational nuclear power plants (Beznau & Oyster Creek) are decades below what is claimed.

  • Ben Franklin

    The nuclear capital cost estimates are extremely optimistic, and ignore the fact that actual costs are typically around 3 times what was planned for.

    No wonder that the USA & Western Europe’s total nuclear capacity has declined ever since the 1990s, as fewer new reactors are completed than old ones decommissioned.

  • Ben Franklin

    The statement ” . . . nuclear is demonstrably the safest of all sources of energy” is false, and based on incorrect and outdated figures. When taking account of the 2600 square kilometres exclusion zone around Chernobyl after 30 years, and the 182 000 Fukushima evacuees (ten times the number of people killed by the tsunami plus earthquake) after almost 5 years, this statement is far from correct..

    The meaningful units for comparison are things like fatalities (or serious injuries, or loss of the use of property) per TWh (or TWy) of power delivered. It should take account of the recent increase in world wind power capacity — which now exceeds world nuclear power capacity when comparing nameplate values (but not yet when comparing mean values).

    It is widely expected that solar PV capacity will soon exceed wind capacity. When low temperature solar thermal power is included, solar already exceeds wind power.

  • bdruif

    The process is already skewed heavily in Rosatom’s favour – see here a timeline of the corruption in process:
    http://www.rdm.co.za/politics/2016/02/02/zuma-the-guptas-and-the-russians–the-inside-story