Archive for March 23rd, 2008

source: allAfrica
The East African Standard (Nairobi)

22 March 2008
Posted to the web 21 March 2008


The curtain rolls on the week today as the world marks two crucial days. Some countries chose to mark the World Water Day – when we reflect on the global problem of lack of access to clean water – on Thursday because of the Easter celebrations.

On Saturday, by coincidence, the globe also observes the International Year of Sanitation, which the United Nations declared last year.

The problem of unsafe water and inaccessibility to the vital commodity, coupled with poor sanitation, is monstrous. It is scandalous and maddening, particularly when the horrifying statistics are recited, even at the risk of sounding monotonous. Each time they are repeated, they probably fall into the usual fold of global statistics.

But the gravity of the problem cannot be gainsaid, given the UN’s estimate that every 20 seconds, a child dies due to poor sanitary conditions. Each year, the UN reports, poor sanitation and unsafe water claim the lives of [continue reading]

source: IOL
March 22 2008 at 03:10PM

By Thabiso Thakali

Controversy and lack of support may have delayed it for almost three years, but the hi-tech nuclear reactor that will produce South Africa’s electricity is forging ahead.

The R17-billion capital investment project will provide one of the solutions to SA’s power problem by 2013, according to Robert Peters, a senior consultant at the fuel development laboratories at the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor.

The high-temperature helium gas-cooled reactor is the first in a new generation. The project entails building a demonstration reactor at Koeberg outside Cape Town and a pilot fuel plant at Pelindaba near Pretoria.

‘Nuclear waste is not something you just dump’
The demonstration reactor design is completed, and construction is due to start next year, with the first fuel to be loaded four years later. If successful, another 10 plants could be built.

“Its nuclear-generated power has been proven to be clean, highly efficient and cost-effective. It can be built anywhere because it is proliferation resistant,” explained Peters.

Although not the only technology being developed, the South African project is to become the [continue reading]