22 June 2007
In Africa it is not a question whether nuclear power is cheaper, more effective or more environmental friendly source of electricity. It is a question of whether the expertise and dedication exists to maintain such an operation. Not so long ago a loose bolt was found in one of the reactors at a nuclear power plant. Everyone agreed that such a potential disaster should never have happened. This very nuclear power plant wants to extend its capacity to cope with the increasing demand for electricity. To add to the foolishness of the whole scenario, of the property developers are putting pressure on the government concerned to allow for development within the safety zone. In Africa money is power. Money or an argument of more jobs or homes can buy almost anything. Decisions are often made without considering the long term or global impact.
Whether to use nuclear power or not in any African country can only be safe when all the African countries are capable of running such an operation.
The question is can nuclear power be regarded as a safe and cleaner source of electricity in on the African continent? Even if one country has the expertise discipline to run such an operation, there is the danger of a copycat reaction from less capable countries. The ripple effect of what happens in one continent soon spread to other African continents. The watchdog of the world will only be able to hold power over African countries while the money is flowing in.
It is so easy for wars, mass strike action and internal cleavages to interfere in the running of operations. Global long-term solutions regarding potentially dangerous technologies need to be implemented.
A "Chernobyl" in Africa will affect the whole world climate. It is also true that first world technologies will be utilised by third world countries if it is a cheaper solution, often regardless of the consequences.
If it is safe, cheap and reliable electrical power the third world needs, perhaps the first world should see that they get it for the sake of the global climate.