French firm to build 12 nuclear reactors in South Africa

nuclear power plant

South Africa is experiencing severe, ongoing power shortages. Nuclear power, however controversial, can deliver huge amounts of energy – way more than any other source. And that’s what South Africa needs and wants now.

Yes, we need all kinds of renewable clean, power, and plenty of conservation and smart grids too. But as Jim Kuntsler has said, nuclear will keep the lights on until we figure out what comes next.

80% of the power in France comes from nuclear. They’ve never had the slightest problem, and their third-generation nukes are state of the art.

Yes, the storage problem for the depleted fuel is troublesome. But we also need to keep the lights on without emitting huge amounts of carbon.


  1. Yes storage problems are with you for the rest of time, always lurking there for the next generation to take care of, and waiting for the inevitable. France’s nuclear history is very short in relation to the storing of radio active waste. Then there is the decommissioning and clean up of the nuclear site. We in the UK are facing billions of pounds in taxpayers money to “TRY” to clean and decommission our old nuclear power stations and rising year on year, not counting the billions for Sellafied alone, with the experts saying it will take upto 112 years to “clean” that site and even then it will still be cantaminated and would have to stay under “unlimited institutional control” for the forseeable future. The quick fix energy solutions suit big business just fine, they love nuclear, but what does it do to the envirnment for the next and the next generation? From mining through construction and transportation to production nuclear burns away more energy than the pro nuclear lobby will admit, then there is the “decommissioning” so in reality is a none starter for saving energy. But it sure makes a helluva lot of cash for the big boys, usually our cash.

  2. Were those nukes contaminated in some unusual way or were they “normal.” I think I need to blog about this too. Links appreciated.

    Maybe nukes would be what computers programmers call a “quick and dirty” fix. It works temporarily, but is ugly, isn’t a long-term fix, and might break.

  3. Much of the nuclear waste in the world gets stored in countries other than those that prodice it. Italy sends some of its nuke waste to the U.S.– as if we don’t have enough of our own.

    I also worry that as the volume and distribution of waste increases, so does its accessibility to terrorists. India is a security nightmare. Is South Africa any better? Some say the dirty bomb is impossible– nevertheless, there’s plenty one could do with such dangerous materials to raise havoc.

  4. Nuclear power = Zero greenhouse emissions. The choice is going to be go nuclear or go cold, like in freezing. Waste a problem yes, is it a solvable problem yes. Potential security nightmare yes. Solvable yes. I just hope our “leaders” get with reality soon enough or 1/2 the world’s population won’t have to worry about the wasre or security threats and the other 1/2 won’t care.

  5. The trouble with quick and dirty fixes, as we know from y2k, is at some point they require a legacy programmer to sort them out. Not sure there’ll be too many of them around in ten or twenty thousand years.

    It’s long been my contention the most feasible disposal is to launch the waste into the sun. Any with a laptop at hand should readily see the potential economic and innovative boon such an endeavor could be.

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