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[en] The paper provides an overview of the public perception of nuclear power and its role in reducing climate change based on selected peer-reviewed literature sources. Nuclear technology has played a significant role in human life’s advancement mainly in the form of nuclear power generation and medical sciences. Apart from its capability to mitigate climate change, nuclear technology has been used in other non-nuclear applications, for example, seawater desalination in response to water shortages due to extreme prolonged droughts periods. For the past forty years, public perception of nuclear power generation (NPG) has fluctuated over time and differs across regions. Similarly, climate change is another contentious area of concern, and has become a significant focus of international scientific research. The effects of rising temperatures due to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the earth’s atmosphere and continued environmental degradation remains an area of public interest. This study explores the main factors that influence public perception of NPG and determine the change of opinion with time. The study also evaluates the public acceptance of the NPG considering its role in potentially mitigating climate change. Practical strategies aimed at addressing the understanding of nuclear technology and improve the public acceptance of NPG are provided.
[en] The study objectives are to: – Explore the main factors that influence public perception of NPG. – Determine the reasons for the change of opinions with time. – Evaluates the public acceptance of the NPG considering its role in climate change mitigation. – Provides practical strategies to improve public acceptance of NPG.
[en] Despite South Africa being the leading producer and distributor of electricity on the African continent, the country has encountered some challenges in the past eleven years with regards to the supply of uninterrupted electricity. Between February and March 2019, South Africa experienced one of the worst, unprecedented power crisis since 2008, with rotational load-shedding reaching up to stage 4 to ease about 4000 MW from the national grid. Stage 4 load shedding involves intermittent rotational power cuts, three times per day for two hours at a time, or twice a day for four hours at a time. The history and challenges related to the energy crisis in South Africa and its associated impacts as observed over the past eleven years are well documented. These challenges are generic and are likely to continue unless notable alternative energy sources which are environmentally friendly, such as hydroelectricity and nuclear energy (nuclear power generation), are fully explored. Effects of paleoclimatic changes on the Zambezi River Basin (ZRB) and implications to the Cahora Bassa hydroelectricity generation is presented in this paper, based on preliminary field investigations. Additionally, a brief overview of the nuclear power generation and other renewable new-build power generation programmes, as outlined in the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) of 2018 are provided. Although the planned programmes are likely to ease pressure on the continuously growing energy demand in South Africa, consideration should be given to the effects of climatic changes so that effective mitigation measures can be put in place.