In 2010 the Koeberg Alert Alliance (KAA) requested a copy of the Koeberg Emergency evacuation plan from Eskom, via the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). On the 2 June 2010 Eskom replied as below:
It is hard to make sense of this response. They seem to be saying that if everyone knew how to evacuate the area, then they would not be able to test the plan. One would think the more people who are familiar with the procedure, the better.
After Fukushima, KAA again submitted a PAIA, which generated some interested from the press. The 30 period allowed for responding expired on 22 November 2011.
Koeberg is surrounded by an Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) with a radius of 16km, and it is this zone that the emergency plan apparently deals with. This seems to contradict a press release from the National Nuclear Regulator issued just after the Fukushima disaster: “Koeberg and the City of Cape Town have an emergency plan which is tested regularly (every 18 months), which is applied onto a radius of 22 km from the plant, as well as contingency plans beyond this distance.”
So which is it – 16km or 22km? Once the public are allowed to see the plan, this confusion will be cleared up.
Apart from safety issues, property owners are sometimes surprised when they learn that their insurance policies do not cover any loss due to radioactive contamination, such as after a leak from a nuclear power plant. Presumably the plan describes how accommodation will be provided for those who are forced to abandon their homes.
NEWS FLASH 24 November 2011: Both Eskom and the NNR have refused another PAIA application for the evacuation plan. The NNR gave as a reason “… the information requested is classified as confidential due to the physical and nuclear security arrangements in respect of the nuclear installation and therefore cannot be disclosed.”