On 10 March 2016, the NNR received a Nuclear Installation Site Licence (NISL) application from Eskom Holdings (SOC) Limited for the Thyspunt site, located in the Kouga Local Municipality in Eastern Cape Province. In accordance with section 21 of the National Nuclear Regulator Act (Act No 47 of 1999), any person who may be directly affected by the granting of a nuclear installation licence pursuant to an application in terms of subsection (1) or (2), may make representations to the Board, relating to health, safety, and environmental issues connected with the application.
If the Board is of the opinion that further public debate is necessary, it may arrange for such hearings on health, safety, and environmental issues as it determines. The NNR Board, in accordance with the regulatory provision as per section 21(4)(b) of the Act, conducted public hearings as part of the stakeholder consultation process for the NISL application.
The public hearings were held on 25 and 26 August 2021 at Cape St. Francis and Jeffreys Bay, as well as on 23 and 24 November 2021 at Humansdorp and Hankey, in Kouga. The NNR assessed the application in accordance with relevant safety requirements, including inputs received during the stakeholder consultation process. The overall NNR assessment identified information gaps and outdated data. Due to the information gaps and outdated data, the NNR can confirm that it is not in a position to evaluate all factors that either qualifies or disqualifies the Thyspunt site as being suitable for siting the postulated nuclear installation design(s), and therefore a final decision cannot be made at this stage.
Based on the above, the applicant is afforded an opportunity to submit the relevant information in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations on Licensing of Sites for New Nuclear Installations, R 927. The NNR notified Eskom of the status of the application on 6 June 2022. Should the applicant decide to submit the information and updated data, the applicant is required to do so within 12 months from the date of the NNR notification letter.
Upon receipt of the outstanding information, the NNR will continue with the review and assessment process of the application, the outcome of which will determine a regulatory decision that either qualifies or disqualifies the Thyspunt site as suitable for siting of the postulated nuclear installation design(s).
The National Nuclear Regulator and Nuclear Installation Site Licensing
The NNR is a public entity established and governed in terms of section 3 of the National Nuclear Regulator Act, (Act No. 47 of 1999) to provide for the protection of persons, property and the environment against nuclear damage through the establishment of safety standards and regulatory practices suited for South Africa.
An application for a NISL must comply with regulatory requirements which are contained in (1) the National Nuclear Regulator Act (Act No. 47 of 1999), (2) Regulations on Licensing of Sites for New Nuclear Installations (R 927) and (3) Regulations on Safety Standards and Regulatory Practices (R 388) and Regulations on the Format for the Application for a Nuclear Installation Licence or a Certificate of Registration or a Certificate of Exemption (R 1219).