Eskom welcomes Duynefontein nuclear installation decision

Eskom welcomes Duynefontein nuclear installation decision
Eskom welcomes Duynefontein nuclear installation decision

Eskom has welcomed the Department of Environmental Affairs’ decision to grant the power parastatal permission to proceed with the nuclear installation in Duynefontein in the Western Cape.

The Duynefontein nuclear installation will be next to the existing Koeberg power station.

“We welcome the authorisation by the Department of Environmental Affairs on the Final Environmental Impact Report (F-EIR) for the Nuclear-1 Power Station and associated infrastructure, and consider this an important milestone in the development process of South Africa’s nuclear programme,” said Dave Nicholls, the Chief Nuclear Officer at Eskom.

In a statement on Friday, Nicholls said the power utility has worked on Thyspunt in the Eastern Cape being the preferred site, according to the F-EIR compiled by an independent environmental practitioner, GIBB.

“We have always considered both sites equally capable of hosting a nuclear power plant. To this end, we had progressed the Nuclear Installation Site Licence (NISL) to the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) for both sites.”

In the beginning of the project, five alternative siting areas were investigated at the scoping phase, which are Brazil and Schulpfontein in the Northern Cape on the west coast between Kleinzee and Hondeklip Bay; Bantamsklip in the Western Cape on the coast next to Pearly Beach, east of Hermanus; Duynefontein in the Western Cape next to the existing Koeberg power station and Thyspunt in the Eastern Cape on the coast between Oyster Bay and St Francis Bay.

Following the scoping phase, Brazil and Schulpfontein were excluded from further detailed specialist environmental studies for the Nuclear-1 EIA. However, Nicholls said the other four sites are still usable in future, as no fatal flaws have been identified.

“Throughout the EIA process, more than 35 studies were undertaken, with some revised and updated by experienced specialists and a comprehensive Public Participation Process (PPP) was undertaken. The granted authorisation is confirmation of the adequacy of the extensive work undertaken,” he said.

Going forward, GIBB and Eskom will interrogate the decision and will work within the regulations in terms of available options.

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