SABC News - Eskom confirms interest in Thyspunt as nuclear plant :Friday 24 February 2017

Eskom confirms interest in Thyspunt as nuclear plant

Friday 24 February 2017 17:48

Lerato Thipa

Thyspunt has been earmarked for a nuclear plant in the Eastern Cape.

The Thyspunt plant could bring much needed energy supply to the area and create thousands of jobs.(Thyspunt.com)

Eskom says visits by the National Nuclear Regulator to proposed nuclear sites at Thyspunt in the Eastern Cape and Duynefontein in the Western Cape are to assess their suitability.

It says research shows there will be minimal negative environmental impact.

Thyspunt has been earmarked for a nuclear plant in the Eastern Cape. It could bring much needed energy supply to the area and create thousands of jobs.

“There is no other power generating system in the Eastern Cape at the moment. It supports the development of the Eastern Cape. This site is a very good site, so from a nuclear and safety point of view it's the best site. On a plot like this you are looking about 10 billion dollars of which a quarter will be used locally," says nuclear specialist, David Nichols.

Eskom Group Executive, Abram Masongo, says: "If you look at the environmental incidents on the nuclear they are very minimal. At home we have got a very practical example; we have the Koeberg plant which has been running since 1988. We have never had any significant incidents with nuclear, as long as you comply with it well."

Thyspunt Alliance's Kobus Riechert says, "We are anti-site selection. We say the Thyspunt site should’ve never been considered as a potential site for this nuclear program because of its sensitivity. We are waiting for the final decision from the Department of Environmental Affairs to see if they are going to approve the preferred site, but we will use every legal remedy to fight this."

Residents are divided.

"I am personally against the plant because the environmental effect such a plant has on areas is just too bad. Also the nuclear spill is a given and such will wash into the ocean and that's not good for us as surfers and it could lead to the end of the festivals such as the Jeffrey’s Bay Open," says one resident.

"I have no problem with the plant, I think it will be good for this area and also it will create jobs and boost the economy of this area," says another resident.

Eskom also used this day to donate four maths and science research centres to schools in the Sarah Baartman region.

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