Kemm’s nuclear arguments fatally flawed
A letter received from Thyspunt Alliance’s Hilton Thorpe discusses flaws in Dr Kemm’s arguments
“The article in the August, 2017 edition of the Chronicle, which quotes Dr Kelvin Kemm at length, is typical. It is nothing more than propaganda – a disinformation exercise which deliberately disregards serious issues in relation to the nuclear process, and gives a totally erroneous impression.
Who is this Dr Kelvin Kemm? He is a lobbyist denying climate change. Like so many lobbyists, he appears to be blind to any realities other than his own agenda. He has invested his professional and business career in nuclear technology, and is now using his lobbying skills in this direction. As nuclear adviser to the government, Chairman of NECSA and CEO of his own nuclear company, he has a fatal conflict of interest.
Kemm described the High Court ruling, which set aside every step taken so far, as “just a bump in the road, not even a pothole”. This is tantamount to contempt of court. The entire nuclear programme has to start from scratch, legally, with full parliamentary and public participation.
The Russian agreement would have given Russia a virtual monopoly over all nuclear matters in South Africa for a minimum of 20 years, and an unspecified favourable tax regime. South Africa would have been fully responsible for any damage arising in consequence of any nuclear incident. The government was hoping to smuggle this through without reference to parliament. The judge ruled that the agreement was unconstitutional, to be reviewed and set aside.
Kemm suggests that the Record of Decision for the EIA is simply a matter of a Ministerial stroke of the pen. He ignores the fact that the EIA process is also subject to the law (in this case NEMA). The Final Environmental Report was riddled with fatal flaws, including lack of material information required. A favourable ROD at this stage would be inappropriate. There are a number of major processes to follow before the project can go ahead.
Eskom has already spent tens of millions of rands on a fatally flawed EIA, and on land purchases, prior to decisions by the DEA and NNR. Now they want to proceed with site preparation, at tax-payers’ expense, prior to authorization, and at risk.
Kemm may be a competent nuclear scientist – he has never shown the slightest interest in the merits or otherwise of Thyspunt as a nuclear site. His arguments should be treated with the skepticism they deserve.”