Monday, August 20, 2007



The film "Happy Feet" about the Emperor Penguin that goes in search of the "alien" destroyers of his family's foodsource - fish - charmed audiences around the world. Penguins, seals, dolphins and whales are just a few examples of marine life that people enjoy watching - whether tourists or locals - and the numbers of these sea creatures will decline rapidly if the South African government continues with its plan to build nuclear reactors along the coast.

Nuclear reactors such as Koeberg use large amounts of seawater as part of the cooling process in the Pressurized Water Reactors. This water is then pumped back into the sea - heating up seawater all around the plant.

Linda and Paul Gunter have explained the effects of these heated emissions from nuclear reactors on sea life in a landmark report titled: "Licensed to Kill" which focuses on the routine operation of coastal nuclear reactors.

Even South Africans who are totally unmoved by the beauty of marine life or the "cuteness" factor of baby seals and penguins or the inspirational leaps and dives of dolphins in the waves, may be concerned about the effect the nuclear industry will have on their source of seafood. Fish stocks are being depleted around the world and trawling fleets come close to international incidents on a regular basis as they push boundaries to pursue shoals of fish into a neighbour's marine territory. Conflicts over fish stocks will only escalate when coastal nuclear reactors cause marine life to die off.

Keen fishermen living near the Oyster Creek nuclear reactor in the United States were not impressed by massive fish killings due to the extremely hot water from the plant. The plant was fined - but this does not bring the fish back.

If the South African government seeks to ensure energy security by destroying food security, it is only shooting itself in the foot - not a very Happy Foot for any South African nature or seafood lover.

Yours sincerely


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