Editorials 30.11.2016 05:21 am

Why the haste for ‘unaffordable’ nuclear power?

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.'s Grootvlei Power Station. PICTURE: moneyweb.co.za

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.'s Grootvlei Power Station. PICTURE: moneyweb.co.za

Experts have issued dire predictions about rushing into generating more nuclear power.

It is hardly surprising that Eskom and the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Sanec) would adopt the threatening attitude of “start moving now to get the nuclear generators humming or the lights will go out”. But you would expect them to adopt that stance.

You would expect the proponents at Sanec to push for nuclear power and that Eskom, raking through the coals of any number of allegations of graft, would be looking for anything to shed any vaguely optimistic illumination on their dowdy image and steer the focus away from a near-crippling stockpile of debt.

But for the two organisations – joined at the hip in this instance – to turn belligerent and push for a programme that even this country’s dysfunctional government is having second thoughts about smacks of putting the overburdened taxpayers’ cart before a particularly swaybacked horse.

Economists have issued dire predictions about rushing into nuclear power generation, saying we cannot afford it now and in the long term, only the vendors will benefit.

Experts have also indicated that South Africa might only need to supplement existing technologies with nuclear power 15 years from now. So, we must all ask ourselves, why the haste?

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