Koeberg safety protocol ‘outdated’

Written by Administrator. Posted in News

ANTI-NUCLEAR organisation Koeberg Alert Alliance (KAA) has battled with Eskom for the past two years to release its emergency evacuation plans for the proposed nuclear site at Koeberg – only to find that the document is outdated.

KAA requested a copy of the emergency and evacuation plan for the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station through the Promotion of Access to Information Act in June 2010 and again in November last year. Eskom turned down both of these requests and claimed that the information was classified.

Eskom is to build six nuclear reactors at three sites: Thyspunt near Jeffreys Bay, Bantamsklip near Gansbaai and Koeberg near Cape Town as part of a new nuclear build programme for SA by 2030.

“The document is dated 2008, so it seems questionable if it is complete and up to date in terms of population growth, new housing developments and lessons from the Fukushima disaster of 2011,” Peter Becker, KAA spokesperson, told the media yesterday.

The cost to build the new nuclear power stations is estimated at R1 trillion, which Becker said was probably an understatement.

He emphasised the repercussions of a nuclear disaster at Koeberg. “The entire Western Cape will be contaminated,” he said.

“The tourism industry could collapse as a 25 percent drop was seen in Japan’s tourism after the nuclear leak. The Cape wine industry exports would also suffer, the agricultural sector will collapse with dairy farmers not being able to sell their milk or meat because of caesium, an extremely reactive metal. But who will compensate them for all their losses?”

Becker said Eskom only had a R 2.4 billion limit they are obligated to pay out in the event of a disaster, but this only covers 10 percent of Melkbosstrand property.

Property markets would collapse because contaminated areas would become dangerous for 200 years and insurance doesn’t cover damage of this kind.

“If we had more details from the evacuation plan then we would have a better idea of what to expect. At the moment we don’t have the infrastructure to deal with a disaster of this kind,” he said.

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