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Joy and relief in Thyspunt, South Africa, as Thyspunt vetoed for new nuclear reactor

Jubilation as nuclear vetoed for Thyspunt, Herald Live,  

 Surprise as government overrules Eskom, opts for Western Cape site The government’s surprise effective veto of Eskom’s push to build a nuclear reactor at Thyspunt near Cape St Francis has been greeted with jubilation by groups opposed to the move. The Department of Environmental Affairs has instead authorised the construction of Eskom’s proposed nuclear project at Duynefontein in the Western Cape.

NoPENuke said the department’s authorisation of Duynefontein, effectively vetoing the utility’s preferred site at Thyspunt, was “a real victory for the little guy”.

The Thyspunt Alliance said it was “a triumph for due process” and the Gamtkwa Khoisan Council said the ruling opened the way for establishment of a coastal cradle of mankind, a World Heritage site celebrating Thyspunt’s unique cultural and environmental heritage.

In keeping with South Africa’s nuclear process so far, the Environmental Affairs ruling arrived amid conflicting signals.

Less than a week ago, an upbeat nuclear summit at Jeffreys Bay – attended by Deputy Energy Minister Thembisile Majola and Eskom acting general manager Loyiso Tyabashe – declared the readiness of Eastern Cape youth to seize envisaged job opportunities flowing from development at Thyspunt.

More confusing still, on Sunday, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said South Africa had no money for nuclear.

Speaking in Washington in the US after meetings with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, Gigaba said the South African economy “at present is not in a position where it can carry the burden of nuclear technology”.

Eskom’s nuclear aspirations were launched a decade ago, moving through multiple environmental impact assessments (EIAs) which were submitted and resubmitted after successful challenges from the anti-Thyspunt groupings supported by pro bono studies undertaken by scientists living in St Francis.

Besides the cultural heritage issue, concerns have included Thyspunt’s fragile dune wetlands and the sensitivity of the area to flooding, the existing tourism industry, the threat to the flagship chokka industry via the ejection of sand spoil into squid breeding areas during plant construction and the instability of the site, making it vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis……


October 18, 2017 - Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Africa

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