SCENARIO PLANNING: The world’s worst enviromental disaster

November 28, 2011

Now that Cape Town’s Table Mountain officially made it into the 7 Natural Wonders of the World list, it would be a good time to take a look at the unimaginable: the whole city and it’s incredible environs being turned into a permanent ghost city.

As the world’s media juggernaut moves from frenzy to frenzy it is easy to forget about the Fukushima Nuclear disaster earlier this year, and the Chernobyl meltdown which occurred in the 1980s is all but forgotten. But in reality Nuclear disasters are for all intents and purposes “permanent” disasters.  How many people know that to this day there is a 30km radius zone around Chernobyl called the “Exclusion Zone” which is totally off limits for human habitation? And here’s the killer – it will not be inhabitable for the next 1000 years! Even the official 30 km zone is debatable – most people with any choice would surely not live within 100 km of the area where soil radiation levels are still (and will be for 1000 years) extremely high.

Neither do many people realise that the Fukushima Exclusion Zone of 30 km is not a temporary measure.  It too will last 1000s of years. Nor are the world being told the truth about Fukushima. Toxic levels of radiation are continually appearing further and further and further afield. Again: nobody in their right minds would voluntarily go and live within 100 km of the place.

Enter: Cape Town

  • frequently voted as one of the most beautiful cities in the world
  • population 3.5 million
  • new home of one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World
  • home of one of the worlds 6 Floral Kingdoms – being the smallest and richest

A mere 28km North of the city center one finds an ageing (albeit active) Nuclear power station – relic of the Apartheid era.  Unlike the nuclear power stations in Japan, the USA and France – this facility is not based in a first world country, but within an emerging country beset with infrastructural and administrative problems.  Scenario planning for a meltdown in this instance should not be viewed as scaremongering, but absolutely critical.  So here goes:


We can safely assume that the  minimum Exclusion Zone would be 30km

We can reasonably assume that this zone may be a lot bigger (80 km perhaps) after the official obfuscation of facts at both Fukushima and Chernobyl emerge

Either way – the whole of Cape Town would have to be evacuated. 3.5 million people would be homeless.  The South African Parliament would be evacuated. The country’s second largest financial and economic hub would be utterly destroyed within a matter of days. The world would lose 100s of species of flora and fauna permanently (they’ve got a name for this: “extinction”) The 7th Wonder of the World would be a No-Go Zone.

Basically Cape Town would be a ghost city. Not for a few months or even a few years – 500 years at least!

Quite honestly it would be the biggest environmental tragedy to ever hit the world.  People will look back for 1000s of years incredulous that such a risk could ever have been tolerated.

Is it worth it? Even if Koeberg could guarantee us that the chances of a Nuclear accident ever happening are less than  0.01% (which they most certainly can’t) what would the cost be?

Forgetting the cost of the natural habitat and human lives – the economic costs of such a disaster would surely amount to Trillions of dollars (especially when you factor in 1000 years of losses). Take into account the extinctions; value of a 7th Wonder of the World and human lives lost – there is no monetary value that to which such a loss could be reduced.

How is it that such a scenario is even a possibility?


Scary pics: Fukushima 9 months later – what a nuclear exclusion zone looks like






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