Cape Town nuclear build approved by Dept Environment

Before any major development, South African law requires a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment to be submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs before the project may begin.  In 2009, Gibb consulting submitted a scoping report for such a study on behalf of Eskom, with a view to building a large nuclear power plant.

During the public participation process Koeberg Alert, as well as many other organisations, scientists and members of the public submitted extensive and detailed comments on the report, and in particular the poor quality of the specialist reports. Continue reading

High Court blasts nuclear plans

Jubilant activists celebrate on the steps of the High Court

A case against the Department of Energy, the Minister of Energy and Eskom was brought by SAFCEI and EarthLife Africa Johannesburg recently.  Today judgement was handed down by Judge Bozalek, and it surprised everyone.  He granted every single request of the plaintiffs!  He also gave a costs order against the government. Continue reading

Nuclear vs Renewables Job Creation video

Here is a short video which describes the job creation potential in South Africa of nuclear and renewable energy.  English subtitles may be switched on or off.

Frame from a video showing a whiteboard with a drawing of South Africa facing a choice between nuclear and renewable energyIntroduction
South Africa needs electricity, and coal power stations need be replaced as they become old. We face a choice.  Either we can build nuclear power stations, or use renewable energy such as solar and wind power. So, how should we choose? Continue reading

From Russia, with Liability

The minister of Energy signed an agreement with Russia in September 2014. More recently made a ministerial determination to allow Eskom to go ahead with the procurement of nuclear plants for South Africa.  The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) had concurred with this determination.  I sat in for the final day of the three day high court hearings questioning the legality of these dealings.

Drawing of advocate Oosthuisen arguing before the high court, with advocate Unterhalter and assistant

Advocate Oosthuisen driving home a point

Continue reading

Would you like to earn R1.7m a week?

Drawing of Zizamele Mbambo

Zizamele Mbambo

On November 29 2016 the Portfolio Committee on Energy was given a presentation by the Department of Energy (DOE) on the progress of the South African nuclear build programme.  For some reason, the minister of energy, the Director General of the department and the Director General for nuclear energy chose not to attend, and instead sent the  Deputy Director General for nuclear energy, Mr Zizamele Mbambo.

The presentation included a list of sixteen consultancy contracts that have been awarded by the DOE. First prize for the most lucrative contract is a tie between Mahlako-A-Phahla Investments and Central Lake Trading 149, at about R1.7 million per week! Continue reading

Kelvin Kemm: Yet another pro-nuke advocate discredited

Drawing of Kelvin kemmIn South Africa there are few, if any, more vocal proponents of nuclear power than Kelvin Kemm, recently appointed chair of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA) board.

Kemm was a proponent of the Pebble Bed reactor project (PBMR), which turned into an expensive failure for South African tax payers, who funded the project for somewhere around R10 billion.  Most of that went to salaries and consulting fees for those in the industry such as Kemm.

A local investigative magazine, Noseweek, did a bit of digging into Kemm, and came up with a lot of information about CFACT, or the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, which is a sugar coated name for a lobby group funded by oil and coal companies.

Hired to head CFACT was Marc Morano, an expert at disinformation. Continue reading

Nuclear reactors for Thyspunt have been ordered

This is according to the World Nuclear Association, which describes itself as “the only international industry organisation with a global mandate to communicate about nuclear energy”, and has members which include Rosatom, the Russian nuclear power company, as well as Areva of France, KEPCO of Korea, and many others.Ordered reactors from Russia close up Continue reading