Magazine article New African

The Scramble for Africa's Nuclear Resources: With the Current Nuclear Pollution in Japan and the Cost Involved in Controlling It, Africa Must Refuse to Tread the Road That Powerful Forces Want It to Take regarding Nuclear Resources and Energy. This Path Would Not Only Lead to Pollution of the Continent, but Also Create Huge Long-Term Financial Costs, Reports Nora Wittman

Magazine article New African

The Scramble for Africa's Nuclear Resources: With the Current Nuclear Pollution in Japan and the Cost Involved in Controlling It, Africa Must Refuse to Tread the Road That Powerful Forces Want It to Take regarding Nuclear Resources and Energy. This Path Would Not Only Lead to Pollution of the Continent, but Also Create Huge Long-Term Financial Costs, Reports Nora Wittman

Article excerpt

THE CURRENT NUCLEAR POLLUTION in Japan and the reactions of politicians and governments throughout Europe, the USA and Asia, even in the eye of disaster, indicate that they will never stop using nuclear power for military means and domestic energy generation and supply.

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As Japan was battling to control pollution from its Fukushima nuclear plant, destroyed by the massive earthquake that hit the region on II March, French President Nicolas Sarkozy was firmly pronouncing that a withdrawal from nuclear energy was totally out of question for France and will not happen--80% of domestic energy in France comes from nuclear plants.

A few hours later, EU ministers deemed it sufficient to submit European nuclear power reactors to a so-called "stress test", and even then only on a voluntary basis. Apparently, the nuclear industry and their party allies throughout the political spectrum have been for a long time in a tight marriage that is far too beneficial for them to split.

Africa is currently the continent where nuclear power plants are least present. Only one such plant is present in South Africa, imposed by the apartheid regime in the 1970s. It is located in Koeberg, 30km north of Cape Town, yet surrounded by the city's ever-spreading suburbs, and was built by a French company. Like most nuclear power plants, it has experienced serious problems and its reactors have had to be shut down several times, especially since 2005.

Of course, the idea is not totally unconceivable that there could have been more severe incidents before, and that in apartheid times the white supremacist regime would not have made it a top priority to inform and protect the surrounding African people. In 2010, 91 members of staff were contaminated with Cobalt-58 dust in an incident that was said to be confined to the plant only.

In view of these facts and the recent developments, it should be clearer than ever that Africa must not follow the path to ultimate and lasting nuclear destruction that European, North American and Asian leaders seem to be determined to continue to take. Indeed, Africa may not only have the responsibility to save itself from this fate, but may also ultimately have the power to save the world from some of this otherwise pre-programmed nuclear disaster. How? By refusing to let its vast nuclear resources be exploited.

South Africa's only nuclear power plant, In Koeberg, 30km north of Cape Town, was imposed by the apartheid regime in the 70s

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The nuclear powers are increasingly experiencing and preparing for problems of supply with the necessary crude nuclear materials such as uranium and plutonium. Even though it is said that countries such as the USA, Russia and China have or rather had vast uranium resources themselves, all of these countries are now very eager to identify, secure and exploit mines for nuclear materials throughout Africa.

Africa, the continent endowed with the richest natural resources, has vast nuclear materials in its soil. Almost every African country is currently being mined or examined and prepared for nuclear exploitation.

According to a recent report updated in February 2011 by the World Information Service on Energy (WISE), an environmental activist amalgamation based in Amsterdam, China National Nuclear Group, being that country's biggest nuclear power plant builder, signed a deal with the China-Africa Development Fund, a Chinese state-run institution, in 2010 to examine and exploit uranium resources throughout Africa.

French, Canadian, British, Swiss, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Australian and other companies are mining uranium, or have signed contracts to do so very soon with Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, DRCongo, Gabon, Malawi, Mali, Chad, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia and other African countries. …

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