The Federation for a Sustainable Environment co-hosted the recent Nuclearisation of Africa Conference. The event brought together experts and interested parties on matters relating to nuclear energy, waste and mining of radio-active material.
Prof. Nidecker of Radiology, University of Basel, Switzerland. Past president and board member of PSR / IPPNW Switzerland is interviewed along with independent international consultant on energy and nuclear policy releases, Co-author of yearly world Nuclear Industry Status Report, Mycle Schneider. In this podcast they highlight topics and insights from the Symposium, "Nuclearisation of Africa".
Federation For a Sustainable Environment « Nuclearisation of Africa » Symposium 19. Nov 2015 There is a clear global downtrend in the civil use of nuclear power, as documented by the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report and as discussed at the international Symposium on « Nuclearisation of Africa » concluded on the 19th of November in Johannesburg.
Sheree Bega, a multi award winning journalist, of Saturday Star, South Africa’s leading weekend paper, wrote an excellent article titled “Nuclear waste ‘dangerous for millennia, even millions of years, cannot be shut off”. The article was published yesterday in the Saturday Star.
The world has become sober to the unimaginable power of uranium after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and recently, Fukushima.A new set of serious health problems, collectively known as Gulf War Syndrome, and epidemiological data from the Wismut cohort have become available to researchers.
Uranium mining can have detrimental effects on the health of the miners and their families. An interdisciplinary team of doctors and scientists will report on this and on efforts of the nuclear industry to promote the civilian use of nuclear power in Africa at a Symposium in Johannesburg, South Africa from 16th to 19th November 2015.
On 25 June 2014 the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) had a quarterly meeting with several Non-Governmental Organisations to discuss matters of concern. During this meeting, a presentation was made by Ms M Liefferink, Chief Executive Officer of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE). Ms Liefferink requested response from the NNR on a number of concerns previously raised. These were documented and the NNR provided a written response.
The immediate case of the disaster at Fukushima may have been a natural once, but the official report to Japan's parliament says the ultimate culprit was a weak regulation - a lesson South Africa cannot afford to ignore.
FACIAL TREATMENT: Patience Mjadu, 44 inside her shack in Tudor Shaft informal settlement, with her face smeared with toxic soil from mining waste mixed with skin lotion and water. Mjadu believes the soil helps with her pimples and protects her face from the sun.
Despite intensive and extensive investigations undertaken and reports issued by several government departments several years ago into the health hazards associated with a toxic environment in the Johannesburg region, the situation persists with little to no remedial action taken to date.
Soweto, Johannesburg - Thousands of people face evacuation from greater Johannesburg in the Gauteng province - the economic heartland of South Africa - due to toxic sludge from abandoned gold mines laced with high radiation levels.
Experts warn old mine dumps could cause birth defects and brain disorders
Patience Mjadu can't bear the pimples that dot her face. So, like other women in her impoverished informal settlement, she has resorted to a novel but potentially dangerous form of treatment involving toxic and radioactive mining waste.
In the wasteland that is Johan Kondos’s farm, a lush green field brings hope.“This is what a farm is supposed to look like,” he says, gesturing proudly to his prized lucerne crop, seemingly untainted by the surrounding mining pollution.This lone field, and a few beloved cattle, is all Kondos has left of his farm in Hartbeesfontein in the North West.
One of the most abundant heavy metals in the earth's crust, uranium is a known radiological element and toxin. It is also a major by-product of gold mining, historically one of South Africa's greatest economic undertakings. The country additionally began mining specifically for uranium in 1949, primarily for export to the United States and other nuclear-intensive countries throughout the Cold War. As the conflict between East and West subsided, uranium mining waned, with the gold output from the Witwatersrand reef also declining. Today, hundreds of thousands of tons of uranium by-product sit in mine dumps scattered across the country, with 100 000 tons of the heavy metal in Gauteng's Western Basin and Far Western Basin alone, according to Frank Winde of the North-West University at Potchefstroom.
Uranium has been considered both a radiological and also a heavy metal poison, following calcium in its distribution within the body, i.e. building up in bone, and with the principle target for toxicity being the lung and the kidney. Recently, it has been shown that uranium also targets the brain.
"The 2006 Energy Review merely exacerbated the problem. It acknowledged that the UK would not meet its emissions targets without nuclear, but did almost nothing to address the problem of the reluctance of the market to fund a new generation of plants.
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