On Floating Nukes

On Floating Nukes

THE article under the heading ‘Namibia to set up floating nuke stations’ on the front page of The Namibian of April 5 2007 has reference.

In the article there is no mention made to the effect that our Cabinet has signed an agreement to set up floating nuclear reactors along the Namibian coast. I hope I am correct in this assertion.The article mentions that “according to international news reports, the use of ships as atomic reactors …is a very risky prospect”.In the opening sentence of the article mention is made of “new and untested…technology”.There is a quote to the effect that “there will be no floating Chernobyl”.There is no doubt that there is an energy crisis worldwide, real and sometimes artificially created (like in California by Enron).There is increasing awareness of the importance of environmental safety issues worldwide today.The positive aspect is that the floating nuclear reactors could also be used to desalinate seawater.Desalination of seawater for Namibian coastal towns was considered several years back and if my memory serves me well this was called off because of the prohibitive cost of such a project.One has faith in our Cabinet and I am sure all factors will be considered before a final decision on this issue is made.Can we, as a small and developing nation, afford to be guinea pigs for this new but “untested technology”? Can we afford the unthinkable, another Chernobyl and its implication for our fragile and sensitive marine ecosystems? What about other alternative and perhaps much safer energy sources such as wind energy, Kudu gas field? Itochu Corp, a Japanese company, is reported to have recently bought into exploring Kudu.Engineers in Greece did built a mobile water desalination plant in 2006 – is that a possible project for collaboration of several SADC countries? I know very little about energy and water, but these are some of the issues that come to one’s mind when reading these articles in the media.A Goagoseb Via e-mailI hope I am correct in this assertion.The article mentions that “according to international news reports, the use of ships as atomic reactors …is a very risky prospect”.In the opening sentence of the article mention is made of “new and untested…technology”.There is a quote to the effect that “there will be no floating Chernobyl”.There is no doubt that there is an energy crisis worldwide, real and sometimes artificially created (like in California by Enron).There is increasing awareness of the importance of environmental safety issues worldwide today.The positive aspect is that the floating nuclear reactors could also be used to desalinate seawater.Desalination of seawater for Namibian coastal towns was considered several years back and if my memory serves me well this was called off because of the prohibitive cost of such a project.One has faith in our Cabinet and I am sure all factors will be considered before a final decision on this issue is made.Can we, as a small and developing nation, afford to be guinea pigs for this new but “untested technology”? Can we afford the unthinkable, another Chernobyl and its implication for our fragile and sensitive marine ecosystems? What about other alternative and perhaps much safer energy sources such as wind energy, Kudu gas field? Itochu Corp, a Japanese company, is reported to have recently bought into exploring Kudu.Engineers in Greece did built a mobile water desalination plant in 2006 – is that a possible project for collaboration of several SADC countries? I know very little about energy and water, but these are some of the issues that come to one’s mind when reading these articles in the media.A Goagoseb Via e-mail

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