The Koeberg Alert Alliance and the Southern African Faith Communities' Environment Institute (SAFCEI) call on concerned Capetonians and activists to join a gathering on Bloubergstrand Beach on 16 December, 10am to 12 noon, to question the safety of the nearby Koeberg nuclear power plant. Koeberg power plant’s 40-year lifespan ends in 2024, however Eskom is seeking to extend its operating life by another 20 years, despite its age and the increasing problems at the plant.
Residents in the area are concerned about the lack of transparency from Eskom relating to Koeberg, including several recent unplanned outages, the amount of time unit 1 has been offline this year and the loss of key staff at the troubled power plant this year. The Koeberg area has also been hit by several earthquakes recently and there is doubt as to whether the evacuation plans are able to be implemented practically.
There is also a lack of clarity on whether insurance policies would cover loss of value or damage resulting from a nuclear accident. Some residents are questioning what level of safety standards the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) will apply to the licensing of the life extension of Koeberg.
“We call on Eskom to not extend the designed lifespan of the Koeberg nuclear power plant and shut it down as planned in 2024,” says Koeberg Alert Alliance spokesperson, Peter Becker. “Eskom claims that the work will take six and a half months per reactor unit, which means in the best case Koeberg will be at half capacity for all of 2022. This will result in unnecessary loadshedding, at a huge cost to the economy.”
“Thus far Eskom have been quiet about its plans for South Africa’s only nuclear power plant, says SAFCEI’s Executive Director, Francesca de Gasparis.
“They have not provided information about this process or given the public sufficient evidence that it is safe and in the interests of residents and electricity users to extend the lifespan of this aging nuclear plant. The sheer lack of transparency around the issues plaguing Koeberg is reminiscent of what happened with the unlawful nuclear deal in 2017.”
Organisers are inviting media to attend and for Cape Town citizens to join in the event. You can also add your voice by sharing info on social media.
More info can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/koebergalert