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Friday, March 07, 2008

Press Release: Namibian Government Approves Nukes

Earthlife Namibia

In response to a recent announcement by Cabinet regarding power generation and uranium beneficiation in Namibia, Earthlife Namibia wants to express its absolute shock about Government’s approval to build a nuclear power plant and to allow uranium enrichment in Namibia. There are many reasons speaking against nuclear power generation in our country.

Nuclear energy is unsafe and dangerous!

High-level nuclear waste remains radioactive for a long time. Worldwide there is no solution of safe disposal. Nuclear waste is a problem that does not go away because it remains dangerous for at least 200 000 years. Thus we burden many generations to come with a problem we create today.

There is a risk of low-level radiation in all stages of the nuclear power process. Research shows that low-level radiation does have health and environmental implications.

Nuclear accidents are mostly a combination of technological and human failure, so they can never be ruled out completely. A nuclear accident can have terrible impacts on many generations to come. The consequences of the nuclear explosion at the power station of Chernobyl 20 years ago still burden many people and the environment.

Nuclear energy is not the answer to climate change!

Cabinet in its press release states: “Energy produced by nuclear power stations is considered carbon free, especially if its fuel is processed using nuclear generated electricity. Products made or mined using this power qualifies for special consideration in terms of carbon credit.”

The nuclear industry lobby and pro-nuclear politicians want to make us believe that nuclear power is climate friendly. This is not true. On the international market no carbon credit is given for nuclear power generation.

The whole fuel cycle of nuclear power, from mining uranium to the decommissioning of the power station, releases three to four times more carbon dioxide per unit of energy produced than renewable energy.

Nuclear energy is very costly!

Nuclear energy is, on average, between two and four times more expensive than electricity produced from fossil fuels. The enormous costs of decommissioning the nuclear power station and dealing with nuclear waste are not included. The social and environmental costs associated with nuclear power, from uranium mining to disposal of nuclear waste, are never included in the project costs.

Nuclear energy needs high skills!

Technology for renewable energy is available and already proved itself in Namibia and intensive research for local application is taking place while the high technological capacity for nuclear power generation is completely absent in the country and would have to be developed in Namibia or imported at very high cost.

Nuclear energy is not sustainable!

Given current global demand, it is estimated that the world’s uranium resources - both those currently available and possible new reserves – will be exhausted within 60 to 70 years.

Earthlife Namibia urges Government to not make nuclear energy generation an option. Namibia has many sustainable and climate friendly resources which should be utilized to the benefit of the country, its people and the environment.

Earthlife Namibia
Bertchen Kohrs
Tel: 061 – 227913
Cell: 081 293 8085



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