Under the headline Anger over Valli accolade on the Mail and Guardian – out of South Africa – web site, I found an article about the head of a major environmental group named the World Conservation Union (IUCN) who is also a strong backer of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR).
Valli Moosa, chairperson of the Eskom board and former environment minister, had earned a place on a recently created list of “50 people who could save the planet”. Here is a quote from the article that I find extremely encouraging.
The panel was convened by The Guardian newspaper and included the British government’s scientific adviser on climate change, Bob Watson; Indian physicist and ecologist Vandana Shiva; environmental author George Monbiot; and the head of Greenpeace International, Gerd Leipold.
The panel mentioned Moosa’s roles in campaigning for transnational African “Peace Parks” for wildlife and in pushing for reduced use of plastic bags while he was environment minister.
“But,” the citation continued, “he may play a much greater role in the global environment debate as chairman of Eskom, the state-owned power company that runs South Africa’s only nuclear plant and, starting in 2008, is hoping to build dozens of fourth-generation small-scale nuclear stations.
“Known as pebble bed modular reactors [PBMRs], these are smaller, cheaper and reportedly safer than other designs and Valli Moosa says they could be the base of the 21st century’s eco-economy — ideally for desalination plants and creating the raw material for the heralded but slow-to-appear hydrogen economy.
“South Africa has some of the world’s greatest reserves of uranium: put them with the technology and it could start looking like a superpower.”
When I get back to my computer after my day job, I am going to have to find out more about this panel and the list that they created. I find it almost too good to be true that George Monbiot and Gerd Leipold could have been involved in that statement of support for the PBMR and its potential applications.