Nuclear Power for Namibia No Option

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Earthlife Namibia strongly opposes nuclear power generation in Namibia. It would be far too dangerous and would put untold coming generations into serious jeopardy. Although South Africa will reduce power supply to Namibia very soon, the production of nuclear energy is not an acceptable solution for energy supply. Namibia has got much better, safer and sustainable options.

Nuclear power generation requires extremely high technological capacity and skills. It is extremely doubtful if Namibia would be in a position to mobilize manpower to operate and maintain a nuclear power plant. Namibia can deal with the technology of renewable energy; a good example is the generation of solar power at the Training and Research Centre Gobabeb in the Namib Desert. But technology for a nuclear power plant is a completely different story.

How would Namibia deal with a nuclear accident? The past shows that nuclear accidents are a combination of human error and technological breakdown. The most horrific nuclear catastrophe happened 20 years ago at the Russian Chernobyl nuclear reactor in the Ukraine. Babies born today, 20 years after the accident, still pay tribute to the nuclear disaster. They are born with terrible and painful deformities having no chance for survival, innocently condemned to suffer for the rest of their short life.

And I ask: Can you as today’s decision-makers in Namibia guarantee that this will not happen to our daughters and sons? Have you got children you care about? We urge you to think beyond short-term benefits and be true leaders bringing sustainable development to this region.

Namibia with its great capacity of almost 350 days of sunshine per annum could be the world leader in providing the country with renewable energy.

There is the potential of rural electrification through solar power; wind power along the coastline can be utilized.

There are more options for renewable energy generation in Namibia. Earthlife Namibia urges Government to consider all opportunities and weigh the positive and negative consequences of each option.

Yes, we need development, we need electricity for all, and we need to give Namibians jobs and income, a choice to a better standard of living. However, Earthlife feels that short-term benefits for some people against long-term consequences for many is not acceptable.

Why should Namibia be the recipient of the questionable technology from Russia and likewise from China? Both countries, Russia and China, are known for sloppy maintenance and both have a long history of bad environmental and social behaviour. Can we trust that this has changed? Did Russia learn from Chernobyl? Please, we want an honest answer on this.

Bertchen Kohrs
Chair of Earthlife Namibia
Windhoek

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