Reports say nuclear reactor is unsafe

Thank you to the Carte Blanche team for their attempts to shed light on the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) project that has been shrouded in secrecy for so long (Sunday June 8).

According to the editor of Noseweek, certain government officials put themselves in the position of being both consumers and vendors of nuclear energy. And after magically making millions disappear, the same officials declined to comment.

Why should the South African taxpayer continue to pay millions on a project that has been taken off Eskom's balance sheet for making Eskom look bad, yet has remained on the government's balance sheet as an "acceptable risk"?

Minister Alec Erwin asserts that the South African public has been informed about the PBMR and that it is not "experimental" technology.

Yet reports from Germany have shown that a PBMR there cracked, leading to pebbles being trapped, delays in shutting it down and radioactive contamination of the area.

A total 230000 tons of radioactive carbon waste from these reactors has already accumulated - and no one wants it buried in their backyard.

America's nuclear regulatory commission and South Africa's National Nuclear Regulator have stated that the PBMR is not safe. Their warnings should have been heeded long ago.

Ingela Richardson, Gonubie