Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Africans, African Americans and Nuclear Power Plants

African American investors and South African entrepreneurs should establish partnerships and ownership in these new nuclear power ventures. A consortium of blacks, such as Bill Cosby, Michael Jordan, Eddie Murphy, Oprah Winfrey, Magic Johnson, Sean Combs, Jay-Z, Russell Simmons and other large black-owned companies, could pool resources and invest in nuclear power plants. They could be part of an international team that could include companies suchas as Entergy and Exelon in America and Eskom in South Africa as partners. Thus, South Africans and blacks in America would not only become distributors and consumers of electricity, but also energy industry owners. The 30 million black South Africans and the 30 million African Americans should be conducting this sort of cooperative development on a massive scale.

One unique entry point for black entrepreneurs could be assisting in the conversion of plutonium and uranium from warhead triggers to fuel for nuclear power plants. America has fallen behind France, Great Britain, Russia and others in utilizing this mixed oxide (MOX) fuel. The process involves mixing plutonium oxide with uranium oxide to produce new nuclear plant fuel.

South Africa dismantled its nuclear weapons program when apartheid ended. One might debate the efficacy of this decision, but the fissile material from retired nuclear weapons is a useful resource. To the extent that America, Russia, European nations and other countries with nuclear weapons want to dispose of thousands of old warheads, the nuclear materials become valuable electricity generating resources. We should also recycle spent fuel from current nuclear power plants. American blacks and South Africans could lead these 21st Century developments.

Another entry point for black entrepreneurs in America and South Africa is development and marketing of electric vehicles. South Africa should become the Japan of electric vehicle exports. Today, scientist will tell you that if America retrofitted to hybrid and all electric vehicles, pollution from hydrocarbon-fueled electric power plants would virtually neutralize the clean air benefits. Electric vehicles powered by electricity from nuclear power plants would clean the air and reduce our dependence on imported oil.

Entrenched old-money industries will not be the source of this innovation. They are locked into petroleum and internal combustion engine vehicles. South Africans and African Americans have an excellent opportunity to become nuclear power and electric vehicle industrialists. (AAEA)

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