Activists raise risk of uranium transit
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