Thyspunt Proposal Flawed

Hilton Thorpe comments on Thyspunt Work Groups

Following yesterdy’s post on the Thyspunt Work Groups to be established to help prepare the Kouga municipal area for the construction of a nuclear plant at Thyspunt, local anti-Thyspunt activist activist Hilton Thorpe posted the following comment which some may not have seen so it seems worth reprodicng as a post on its own.

Here is Hilton.s comment but one wonders if the Government would pay attention to the National Nuclear Regulator if they were to rule the site iand the proposed technology, unacceptable such is their determination to develop Thyspunt.

“Everything about the Thyspunt proposal is flawed, from the original site selection under apartheid restrictions to disregard of the Review by the CSIR in 1992, which concluded that the site was not suitable for development; to ignoring of the argument from the local community in 1998 that the site is not viable in terms of international emergency planning requirements; to the Scoping Report, which should have been rejected by the DEA in terms of NEMA requirements for failure to contain material information required; to the “co-operation agreement between the DEA & the Department of Energy, leaving the DoE in charge of nuclear issues, and effectively putting to sleep the viability issue until Eskom has applied to the NNR for a technology licence, which has still not happened; to the proposal by Eskom to apply for a reduction in emergency planning to 3 kilometres around the site, in terms of European Utility Requirements, which have been described by an English nuclear scientist as a “fiction” and only a wish-list; to the multiplicity of flawed draft environmental impact reports; to the flawed impact rating criteria, which made it impossible to have a “fatal flaw”; to the separate, and equally flawed transmission lines EIA, which based its recommendation on “national interest”, rather than environmental considerations; to the fatally flawed Final Environmental Impact Report. No wonder it is taking the DEA so long to come to a decision!

To-date, Eskom has done everything at risk, on the assumption that the EIA & Regulatory processes will go smoothly.

We can shortly expect the process by the National Nuclear Regulator, to determine whether or not both the site itself, and the proposed technology, are acceptable in terms of the Nuclear Regulator Act & Regulations. An immediate problem with this is that South Africa is a signatory to the International Atomic Energy Agency Convention, which demands that the Regulator must be independent of both political and commercial pressure. This will be difficult to justify in the light of recent political developments in the country,and of the fact that Eskom will be financing the process.

The St Francis community should be aware of the probable social impact of the project going ahead. When the Mosgas project began it is said that 100000 unemployed people converged on the town looking for work. Mossel Bay is now a large town, with a huge unemployment problem. Much the same applies to Lephalale, following the Medupi project. This can only lead to land invasion, and all the social pathologies associated with informal settlements.

Eskom’s behaviour so far has been irresponsible, and there is no reason to assume that it will change. It may be necessary to go to court to stop this.”