[Marxism] Indian Communists challenge nuclear initiatives: S. Africa?

David Walters dwalters at marxists.org
Tue Oct 9 12:46:55 MDT 2007

Walter raises S. Africa which is also an interesting question vis-a-vis 
US nuclear objectives. S. Africa, under the National Party gov't had a 
experimented with nuclear weapons. When the ANC came to power, they 
ended the program, or, at least as far as we know, there are not more 
military-nuclear programs.

However, they have 2 reactors that supply about 2,000 MWs of power 
provided by the French state run nuclear industry 2 decades ago and, on 
their own, have developed the advance Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). 
The State Energy ministry (ANC) suggests the gov't is planning for an 
additional 40,000 MWs over the next 25 years (not much less than the US 
plans for, in fact, but potential growth is greater there than in the 
US). Out of that, 20,000 MWs, or 1/2 the expected increase, will be 
nuclear, and of those 20,000, 4-8,000 MWs will be from their indigenous 

What is of interest, to me, is that S. Africa has NOT looked toward the 
US partnership agreements like the Indian gov't has (and whose 
opposition to the deal seems more based on national sovereignty issues 
than "nuclear power" issues). The ANC gov't wishes....just like 
Iran(!)...to have total control over their fuel cycle and that this is 
the biggest issue in their opposition to the US organized and very fake 
Nuclear Suppliers Group. S. Africa wishes to exploit their own massive 
uranium reserves and use it in their own reactors. How dare they! This 
seems to offend the US somehow. They do not want to rely on this "NSG" 
and be beholden to US technology vetoes.

To my knowledge the S. A. Communist Party has only raised an eye-brow at 
this planned huge increase in S. African nuclear energy capability...but 
not outright opposition unless I'm missing something.


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