Nuclear Energy Safety Symposium. Proceedings Report

Academy of Science of South Africa (2012)

Proceedings and other reports

Other

Both public and political attitudes on the introduction and use of nuclear energy change with time and events. A movement towards extending its use and building new advanced power stations is driven largely by the contribution that nuclear energy can make to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and hence nuclear energy’s positive role in the climate change debate, as well as its contribution to satisfying the world’s increasing demand for base load electricity. Should the South African government continue with its plans to expand the contribution of nuclear energy to the energy mix, there is no room for complacency, particularly after the March 2011 events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. These events have focused attention on safety and risk as key issues in the use of nuclear power and have created an understandable anxiety about the use of nuclear technology. South Africa needs to heed the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident, as well as other accidents and ensure that these lessons are incorporated into current and future nuclear energy planning. The symposium was initiated by the ASSAf commentary on the IRP 2010 requested by the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology. The idea developed during the meeting of the G8+5 Academies of Science. The international and local inputs to this symposium were very refreshing, original and decisive in conveying specific and relevant points.