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Eskom paid hush money to muzzle anti nuclear opinion

Eskom may have paid millions to keep anti-nuclear research groups quiet: report, Business Tech By Staff WriterApril 28, 2017 Millions of rands in Eskom funding appears to have silenced two well-respected research institutions, previously critical of the state-owned utility’s plans to procure a fleet of nuclear power stations, according to a new report by amaBhungane.

According to amaBhungane, the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was “effectively gagged” after a meeting in March between acting Eskom CEO Matshela Koko and CSIR head, Dr Thulani Dlamini.

Insiders speaking to amaBhungane noted that a strong rumour had emerged from the meeting, pointing to R100 million pledge by Eskom for CSIR research on technology related to nuclear energy……

CRSES  amaBhungane reported that it appears that a similar agreement was reached between the state-owned power utility and the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), who at the last second decided to withdraw comments it had submitted for publication that were highly critical of Eskom’s nuclear plans.

Further email correspondence seen by amaBhungane suggested that the CRSES was unwilling to offend Eskom for fear of having its funding pulled.

In an email seen by amaBhungane, CRSES director Wikus van Niekerk acknowledged the censorship saying, “We receive significant funding from Eskom, some from a programme where Matshela is personally involved in, and I need to be careful how I react in public not to put this at risk.”

Eskom, the CSIR and CRSES have all denied that Eskom has in any way tried to rein in independent research or debate on nuclear or renewable energy options.

You can read the full report here


April 29, 2017 - Posted by | general

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