AUTHORFig, David
TITLEUranium Road: Questioning South Africa's Nuclear Direction
CITYJohannesburg, South Africa

This book offers a criticism of nuclear power technology and the attempts to revitalize the nuclear industry in South Africa underway at the time of publication. It opens with a basic overview of the nuclear fuel chain and a South African perspective on it, including a brief historical analysis of nuclear development in South Africa. Author David Fig claims that the former apartheid government initially pioneered nuclear technology for military purposes so that South Africa would possess a deterrent that could ensure the survival of the apartheid system. Fig perceives the South African government’s push for nuclear technology as a gross abuse of the public trust and finances, and he further argues that nuclear energy is unnecessary both in general and for South Africa in particular due to large coal deposits there. The book draws attention to the safety concerns of nuclear programs and especially the problem of long-term waste storage, alleging that existing attempts to solve nuclear waste problems have resulted in “blatant environmental injustice and racism” (p. 62). Fig is an anti-nuclear activist who is intensely critical of South Africa’s proposed development of a pebble bed modular reactor (PBMR), citing excessive financial, environmental, and health costs.

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