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‘Nuclear energy is not likely to solve SA's energy crisis’

Kumi Naidoo says he believes the risk of nuclear power outweighs its potential benefit.

Nuclear power plant. Picture: Freeimages.com

CAPE TOWN - Former director of Green Peace Kumi Naidoo has urged government to reconsider its commitment to nuclear energy as a power source.

Speaking about the impact of nuclear power at an energy conference in Cape Town today, Naidoo explained nuclear energy wasn't likely to solve the country's energy crisis.

Questions have been raised about South Africa's nuclear ambitions with fierce opposition from some political parties and civil society amid environmental and financial concerns.

Naidoo believes the risk of nuclear power outweighs its potential benefit.

"It's too expensive compared to other forms of energy; it is also too dangerous - it is subject to terrorist attacks, human error, [and] technological failure, but most importantly is that the storage of nuclear waste at the end of the nuclear cycle; there is no solution to that."

He adds South Africa simply cannot afford the gamble.

"The nuclear deal should definitely not go through. It would be a betrayal of our children's future, a waste of money and it will put our country, financially and environmentally, at greater risk."