Response from Eskom to our appeal against the Environmental Authorisation for Koeberg Nuclear site

Title page of response from Eskom to the KAA appeal

Back in 2007, Eskom began an Environmentam fcl Impact Assessment (EIA) for building a large new nuclear power plant on the Koeberg site, about 28km north of Cape Town. Ten years later, after many drafts and submissions, the Department of Environmental Affairs issued an Environmental Authorisation for the project to go ahead. Many organisations appealed this decision, and Eskom was required to respond in detail to the content of each of those appeals, which they have now done (in August 2018).

Many of these responses were combined into one document, which has been widely distributed. However, KAA received the following 115 page specific response. There has not been time to go through it in detail yet, but it is published below to give you all the opportunity to have a look through it and pass it on to others.

Paging through it, a few bits stood out for me.

A tourism plus…
In a show of optimism regarding possible impacts of tourism, Eskom writes “Some nuclear power stations have a positive effect on tourism, as tourists visit specifically to see the stations.”

Continue reading

Appeal against Environmental Authorisation for Koeberg

After a long Environmental Impact Assessment which began in 2007, an Environmental Authorisation was issued for the Koeberg site, 26km north of Cape Town.  This gave Eskom permission to build a new nuclear plant of unspecified design, plus a nuclear waste reprocessing and/or disposal site.

At first only 30 days were allowed for appeals against this decision, and this was extended on the day of the deadline to about 90 days, until 5th March 2017. There are so many reasons this Authorisation was wrong, and we tried to describe some of them in the 43 page submission we wrote. Continue reading

Koeberg authorised to be Cape Town’s permanent radioactive waste dump

On 11 October 2017 the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) issued an authorisation to Eskom for a second nuclear power plant at Koeberg, 28km north of Cape Town City centre.  It came with a surprise.  The Department also authorised the “construction of facilities or infrastructure, including associated structures or infrastructure for … disposal of nuclear fuels, radioactive products and waste.

Waste disposal not part of project…
You would have been surprised if you had studied the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) because it gave the impression this was not about waste disposal. 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-1 Submission to Dept of Environmental Affairs

Before approval for a nuclear plant can be granted, by law an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has to be done and submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

The EIA for the so called ‘Nuclear-1’ project has been in progress for over six years, and the fourth and final draft of the resulting report was eventually submitted to the DEA in early 2016.

This report is of a low scientific standard, and should be rejected by the DEA.

We have made submissions on each draft to the EIA consultants, GIBB, which have been largely ignored, and have not resulted in the changes to the EIA report we hoped for.

We have therefore written to the DEA giving reasons why we believe they should reject this report.

To see our submission, including a short summary, click here: KAA Submission to DEA

Nuclear-1 EIA Report (3rd draft) deeply flawed

Below is the formal submission made to the GIBB Consultants who are running the Environmental Impact Assessment on behalf of Eskom.

Its a long read, so those with limited time can use the contents to find areas of specific interest.

While its hard to choose, there are three items of particular concern.

The first is the practically non-existent assessment of the risk of earthquake damage (see point 1), and the potential impact this could have. Continue reading

Earthquakes and Nuclear

As South Africa contemplates building nuclear power stations along the coast, consultants from GIBB have been given the job of assessing the potential impacts of doing this.  This includes looking at the risks.

Photograph of crack in road in Ceres caused by earthquake

Damage in Ceres from 1969 quake

One obvious risk is that of an earthquake damaging the nuclear reactor, as happened in 2011 in Fukushima.  To assess this risk, GIBB produced a specialist report in 2011 (i.e. done before Fukushima) titled “Appendix E4: Seismic Risk Assessment”. Continue reading

Proposed nuclear build outside Cape Town – public participation meetings

The government is asking the South African public for their input on the proposed nuclear build 30km outside Cape Town in a series of public meetings. These meetings are always attended by the few pro-nuclear stakeholders and it is important that the public also attend to share their concerns about safety, costs and environmental issues.

When?

Melkbosstrand: 18:00, 12 October 2015
Atlantic Beach Golf club

Kenliworth: 18:00, 13 October 2015
Kenilworth Community Presbyterian Church

Is it really worthwhile attending?

Yes! South Africa has an excellent constitution and powerful laws Continue reading

Electricity and nuclear costs workshop in Khayelitsha

In June representatives of Eartlife Africa Jhb and Greenpeace visited Cape Town and the Hermanus area.  Several meetings with other organisations were arranged, including one in Woodstock with Right To Know activists.  Plans for a national ‘nuclear school’ where discussed, but funding would be required. This would be unlikely to happen before October and  since the next draft of the Nuclear-1 Environmental Impact Report was due to be released around October, it was agreed that workshops should be arranged before that if possible.  To maximise impact, the workshops would be in ‘train the trainers’ format, to capacitate activist leaders to speak authoritatively on the nuclear issue. Continue reading