Govt spends R4m on nuclear makeover

Posted by Laura Grant on September 3, 2008
Posted in Green News

Reports surfaced in July that the government had engaged the services of a brand consultant, Freedthinkers, to work on the image of nuclear energy in South Africa. It turns out that this eight-month exercise is costing the country R4-million. [Engineering News]

Alec Erwin, the public enterprises minister, reportedly said in response to a question in parliament that the consultants were not hired to build support for nuclear energy but “to promote an open and honest discussion around nuclear, to ensure that the public are well informed about the pros and cons of nuclear and why the South African government has chosen to use nuclear as part of the energy system”.

A nuclear vocabulary in all 11 of South Africa’s official languages will reportedly also be developed as part of the project, to ensure that “public discourse on nuclear related issues is accessible to all South Africans”.

So, soon we may be able to ask questions like, “Where can I put my high-level radioactive waste?”, in Zulu or Xhosa.

Although, according to Sapa, it looks like we’re going to be sending our nuclear waste – of which we reportedly have 1,150 tons – overseas.

In other nuclear energy-related headlines in the past month:

* The US grapples with the rising cost of disposing of its nuclear waste

* Scoping report for new South African conventional nuclear power station released

* Contract awarded for engineering work on South African PBMR demonstration plant

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