Nuclear energy here to stay – Deputy Minister Kornelia Shilunga

Although public opinion turned against nuclear power generation in the wake of the 2012 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan after a devastating tsunami, nuclear power generation will remain the most viable option to maintain baseload electricity generation. The world opinion is in favour of alternative energies like solar- and wind power generation, but it cannot store enough energy to maintain baseload.
This statement was made this week in Swakopmund by the Deputy Minister of Mines and energy, Kornelia Shilunga, at the opening of the 2017 Uranium International Conference. Under the theme “Extraction and applications of Uranium – Present and Future” uranium mining experts from across the globe gathered in Swakopmund for the conference
Shilunga in her opening address said mining, and specifically uranium mining contributes significantly to the country’s economy. Apart from job creation and exports, mining in 2016 contributed N$3,2 billion to State coffers in the form of taxes and royalties, excluding value added tax and income tax paid by the mining-related work forces.
Shilunga agreed the uranium mining industry declined after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan which in its aftermath saw global public opinion turning against nuclear energy generation. Fukushima also saw great strides being made by alternative energies like wind and solar, but according to Shilunga nuclear power generation is necessary to maintain baseload electricity generation.
“These renewable sources of energy, however, lack suitable means of storing large quantities of energy. Until this problem has been solved to result in economical means to store energy, there remains a need for a suitable baseload supply of electricity”, the Deputy Minister is quoted.
Shilunga also took the opportunity to commended the uranium mining sector for being accountable to its work force, the communities within which it operates and for the natural environment. “Our local uranium mines have made considerable efforts and incurred cost to comply with regional and international standards for safety, health and environment,” she remarked.
The conference concludes today when delegates will also have the opportunity to visit the Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine.

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