In the New Era of 23 March 2007 Professor Gunawardana proposes a Nuclear-based Energy Mix (NBEM) for Namibia in order to reach the aims of Vision 2030. He concedes that the world’s energy resources are decreasing but he writes: “The uranium is the next generations strategic mineral”.
The Professor has missed out on the trend. None of the countries cited by him as heavily relying on nuclear power (US, Japan, Canada, Germany and the UK) even have, for the last 20 years, planned for or ordered a nuclear power station.
Since 1989, the European Union has decreased the number of nuclear stations from 172 to 142 today, the German government is phasing out nuclear power and also worldwide the number of nuclear power stations has decreased just in 2006 from 435 to 432. The German Internet service “SPIEGEL ONLINE” from 10 February 2007 cites Germany’s Angela Merkel as saying that “nuclear power constitutes no solution to climate change”. She too finally has understood the truth that the world resources of uranium can never have a meaningful share in the world’s energy supply.
The Professor wrongly writes about South Africa’s Koeberg as an existing Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). This outdated power station is a 1840 MW 2-unit pressurised water reactor which France’s Framatome completed for the Apartheid Regime in 1985.
The PBMR technology – long ago – has been used for one short-lived nuclear station in Germany. The driving force behind it has been nuclear-crazy Professor Rudolf Schulten of Aachen University. Almost 30 years ago, he devised in Germany’s newspaper Bild-Zeitung that 1 000 nuclear stations would be necessary for Germany to meet the requirements of the next century (this would have meant a coverage of one station on every square of 15×15 km of German soil).
Prof Gunawardana writes about a “breakthrough in the Nuclear Energy Management and Waste Disposal”. On the other hand, he contradictingly continues “in the mean time, developed countries, the International Atomic Agency and top-ranking universities such as MIT are engaged in extensive research to develop the safety measures for a Nuclear Power Supply System.”
I challenge the Professor in saying that the problems of safety and waste management are as unsolved as they were 50 years ago.
We should be very wary when it comes to “expert” advice. From the atomic agencies we will always hear praise for nuclear power. The widely accepted conclusion that nuclear power is not safe, not cheap and not abundant calls for an answer to what energy sources we should rely on as the finite ones (fossil fuel and uranium) are dwindling. For any person with a clear thinking, the answer comes naturally: when the “finites” do not hold a future, we must turn to the “renewables” like solar-, wind-, hydro-, wave- and Biomass-Power.
Conrad Roedern ??????’??