Bod­ies slam ap­proval of nu­clear power plant

Daily Dispatch - - News - By KGAUGELO MASWENENG

THE De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs yes­ter­day en­dorsed Eskom’s plan to build a nu­clear power sta­tion at Duyne­fontein on the West­ern Cape coast‚ near the Koe­berg power sta­tion.

Although the power util­ity has wel­comed the de­ci­sion‚ the South­ern African Faith Com­mu­ni­ties En­vi­ron­ment In­sti­tute and Earth­life Africa are op­posed to it.

Dave Nicholls‚ chief nu­clear of­fi­cer at Eskom‚ said the util­ity con­sid­ered the au­tho­ri­sa­tion by the de­part­ment on the Fi­nal En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact Re­port (F-EIR) for the Nu­clear-1 Power Sta­tion and as­so­ci­ated in­fra­struc­ture an im­por­tant mile­stone in the de­vel­op­ment process of South Africa’s nu­clear pro­gramme.

“While we had worked on Thyspunt be­ing the pre­ferred site ac­cord­ing to the F-EIR com­piled by an in­de­pen­dent en­vi­ron­men­tal prac­ti­tioner GIBB‚ we have al­ways con­sid­ered both sites equally ca­pa­ble of host­ing a nu­clear power plant.

“To this end‚ we had pro­gressed the Nu­clear In­stal­la­tion Site Li­cence [NISL] to the Na­tional Nu­clear Reg­u­la­tor [NNR] for both sites,” he said.

The Faith Com­mu­ni­ties in­sti­tute, how­ever, said the green light for Eskom would not end the en­ergy price hikes that im­pov­er­ished South Africans faced. The in­sti­tute’s le­gal team is con­sid­er­ing tak­ing the mat­ter to de­ter­mine whether there are grounds for an ap­peal.

Liziwe McDaid‚ the in­sti­tute’s en­ergy ex­pert‚ said: “It is not pru­dent to al­low Eskom to con­tinue to over­es­ti­mate its de­mand and then claw back rev­enue it does not make.”

She pointed out that Eskom’s pro­posed tar­iff in­crease did not in­clude nu­clear en­ergy and so it was likely the power util­ity would ask con­sumers to pay more.

“It is sense­less to con­tinue to in­crease elec­tric­ity tar­iffs with­out any mean­ing­ful trans­for­ma­tion of Eskom op­er­a­tions‚ es­pe­cially in the face of on­go­ing mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion within the paras­tatal.

“It there­fore ap­pears that the au­tho­ri­sa­tion of a nu­clear build is out of align­ment with the cur­rent con­text.

“South Africans can­not af­ford nu­clear en­ergy‚” McDaid said.

Earth­life Africa’s Makoma Lekalakala said the or­gan­i­sa­tion sup­ported this. — DDC

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.