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Russian nuclear power activist to visit Wentworth

Local activists to speak out against nuclear power plant plan.

AMID protests against nuclear power plant deals in South Africa and rumours of a plant in the South Durban Basin, Russian environmentalist, Vladimir Slavyak heads to Wentworth this week to highlight his concerns.

The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) and Earthlife Africa will host a nuclear energy summit on Tuesday, 3 September, with Slavyak, who has been campaigning against nuclear energy for 25 years, as keynote speaker.

Six to eight nuclear power plants are proposed to be commissioned by the government for the South African coastline to combat the energy crisis.

“This will not solve our current energy problem because it will take a minimum of 10 years to build this plant,” said SDCEA environmental project officer for communication, energy and health, Noluthando Mbeje.

Speaking about the old Durban International Airport as a rumoured site for one of these plants, Mbeje had reservations.

“South Durban AKA ‘cancer valley’ already has so many industries and pollution, with our last green lung destroyed. Imagine what will happen when we have the nuclear power plant here as well. What about the toxic waste that remains toxic for thousands of years?

We have also witnessed disastrous accidents such as the Three Miles Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima and many countries are shifting away from this disastrous form of energy to cleaner, cheaper and sustainable energy,” she said.

Last week in Pretoria, Greenpeace activists picketed the department of energy, calling for information on nuclear plans for South Africa to be released. The summit, which will be held in the Austerville community hall from 5pm, will address concerns of these local environmental groups and the broader call for transparency in the government’s plans for nuclear energy plants.

“The future is in our hands. Let’s all fight against this noxious proposed development that will cripple our communities and country,” said Mbeje.

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