Ac­tivists raise risk of ura­nium tran­sit

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Pen­well Dlamini

EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL groups have ex­pressed con­cerns about the trans­ship­ment of ura­nium between the US and Namibia through South African ports.

Last week‚ the Depart­ment of En­ergy gazetted an ap­pli­ca­tion made by US firm Ed­low In­ter­na­tional Com­pany In­cor­po­rated for the trans­ship­ment and brief in-tran­sit stor­age of low-ac­tiv­ity ura­nium ore con­cen­trate from Namibia to clients abroad.

This would be done through the port of Durban or Cape Town us­ing a duly au­tho­rised trans­port ves­sel‚ the depart­ment said in the gazette.

Green­peace Africa strongly be­lieved the ap­pli­ca­tion should be de­nied, se­nior cli­mate and en­ergy cam­paign man­ager Melita Steele said.

“It is un­clear how this con­cen­trate would reach ei­ther Cape Town or Durban‚ and there is no in­for­ma­tion about the vol­ume of ore that would need to be trans­ported and stored in the ap­pli­ca­tion. “This is an ab­so­lutely un­nec­es­sary risk. “The re­al­ity is that nu­clear is never safe‚ and the Na­tional Nu­clear Reg­u­la­tor should not al­low South Africa to be used as a thor­ough­fare for the trans­port of ura­nium ore.”

Earth­life Africa Cape Town raised the same ques­tions about the ap­pli­ca­tion as Green­peace.

It also ques­tioned what safety mea­sures were in place when the ura­nium was be­ing trans­ported and who would bear the costs.

“An­swers are needed. Who will en­sure that com­mu­ni­ties near the trans­port routes will not be ex­posed to dust?” Muna Lakhani, of Earth­life Africa Cape Town, asked.

“The bot­tom line is, this is an un­nec­es­sary risk to us all. This must be re­sisted.

“Surely‚ if the ma­te­rial orig­i­nates in Namibia‚ then the ship can pick up in Namibia.” – TimesLIVE

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