Tuesday, November 13, 2007

South African utility looks to coal to meet growing energy demands

SOURCE: IC Publications: “South African power giant signs 5-billion-dollar contracts”

South Africa, as the continent’s largest economy, has experienced continued growth. At the same time, the nation has been plagued by power shortages. In the past, South Africa has had to resort to planned outages—also called load-shedding—to deal with the problem. The country has increasingly sought to diversify power sources and has made a long-term commitment to nuclear power. However, at least one major utility in the country—Eskom—has suggested that coal offers the best short- to medium-range energy option for South Africa’s growing economy.

As a result, Eskom recently signed contracts with two companies, Hitachi of Japan and Alstom of France, to build a new coal-fired power plant. It will be the first such operation in twenty years and marks the largest combined contract ever signed by Eskom.


Given the perennial problem of disposing of how and where to dispose of spent fuel rods, how wise do you think it is for the world to look to nuclear energy as a “cleaner” option?

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