Ac­tivist es­tate agent not sold on Koe­berg nu­clear power sta­tion

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

ANTI-NUKE ac­tivist Ge­of­frey Se­eff imag­ined a heady 21st cen­tury fu­ture – the year 2019, in fact – when he mused anx­iously on the likely safety of the Koe­berg power sta­tion: “Can any­one re­ally be­lieve it will op­er­ate for 40 years with­out one sin­gle mis­take be­ing made?”

The es­tate agent was, at the time – June, 1979 – at the fore­front of ef­forts to scup­per plans for the nu­clear plant, warn­ing Cape Town of the dire con­se­quences of a dis­as­ter at Koe­berg.

Here is that news re­port.

Ex­perts have ad­mit­ted a ma­jor dis­as­ter at the Koe­berg nu­clear power sta­tion could re­sult in 6 000 deaths, the con­tam­i­na­tion of an area 200km down­wind and the evac­u­a­tion of this area for 30 years, ac­cord­ing to the or­gan­is­ers of a public meet­ing in Cape Town to­mor­row to urge a re­think.

The meet­ing, which is be­ing or­gan­ised by Cape Town es­tate agent Mr Ge­of­frey Se­eff and oth­ers wor­ried about the po­ten­tial dan­ger of Koe­berg, will be held at the Hol­i­day Inn, Wood­stock at 5.30pm.

The dis­cus­sion will cen­tre on what ac­tion can be taken to per­suade the au­thor­i­ties to move or de­lay the project.

Mr Se­eff said in an in­ter­view to­day that he hoped in­flu­en­tial groups would join to­gether in protest­ing to the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­i­ties against build­ing a nu­clear power sta­tion so near to Cape Town.

He would ask the Prop­erty Own­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion to ask the au­thor­i­ties not to is­sue an op­er­at­ing li­cence for Koe­berg un­til there was fur­ther re­search into the pos­si­ble dan­ger to health from the power sta­tion, and its ef­fect on prop­erty val­ues.

Mr Se­eff said Es­com ad­mit­ted that the power sta­tion could not be 100% safe and that a dis­as­ter could kill 6 000 peo­ple.

They ad­mit­ted that a ma­jor dis­as­ter would re­sult in the com­plete loss of the econ­omy of the Western Cape.

Mr Se­eff said he was also wor­ried about a pos­si­ble ra­di­a­tion leak which might be con­cealed so as not to cause panic.

Mr Se­eff said that, even if Koe­berg op­er­ated with per­fect safety for the 40 years of its life, its mere pres­ence might cause prop­erty val­ues to fall and dis- courage in­dus­tri­al­ists.

“I ac­cept that this will prob­a­bly be the safest nu­clear power sta­tion in the world,” he said, “but can any­one re­ally be­lieve that it will op­er­ate for 40 years with­out one sin­gle mis­take be­ing made?

“I un­der­stand that there is no ma­jor coal-fired power sta­tion which has op­er­ated for more than three years with­out one sin­gle ac­ci­dent – and a coal-fired sta­tion is far sim­pler to op­er­ate than a nu­clear one.”

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