Is Thyspunt a fait accompli?

At Tuesday’s  DA AGM at St Francis Bay Golf Club Kouga Executive Mayor made a statement that will not have gone down well with the anti-Thyspunt or the anti-nuclear lobbyists. Addressing a rather small audience of ardent DA supporters her statement that Thyspunt is a ‘fait accompli’ will have had some choking on their gin and tonics or cold lagers and others maybe rejoicing at the news so split is the community pn the subject of Thyspunt.

The press, including St Francis Today, have recently published several articles that building a nuclear power station on a site that may be at risk of surge storms and tsunamis seems maybe not to be such a good idea. At one of the presentations at St Francis Links by consultants Gibbs when presenting their EIA report last year, one recalls their assertion that one of the primary reasons for selecting Thyspunt as an ideal environment for the nuclear power station was that there is little or no possibility of seismic activity in the area.

The question must then be asked, did Gibbs do their homework with the EIA  or if they did, did they simply and expediently cover it up to suit their paymaster. At the self-same presentation when asked about the dangers of contamination from the plant that the prevailing westerly winds may cause they categorically stated that the prevailing winds were North Westerly. Now anyone who has lived in the area for a year or more knows the westerly is our prevailing wind and St Francis is thus directly in the path of the winds blowing from the proposed site.  Possibly there is little or no chance of the wind spreading the contamination but the question is, how reliable are their findings on other matters of importance if they couldn’t ascertain the simple wind direction and what other pertinent facts have been incorrectly reported or simply painted over?

It certainly does appear that the ANC government and Eskom are hell-bent on building Thyspunt whether SA can afford it or not, but one can only wonder at how many houses and schools and improvements to infrastructure could be built for the poor with the money that will be spent on legal fees by the anti-lobby and government alone for this matter is very likely to be dragged through the courts for years to come.

And when the development starts, who is going to pay for the infrastructure upgrades that will be required? Apparently Eskom will be paying only for the building of the plant, nothing more, so who is going to pay for the roads, the housing for workers and, and ……..

Thyspunt may not be another Fukushima anytime in the near future but who knows 50 or more years in the future? With the recent spate of earthquakes and tsunami warnings on the Pacisic Rim can anyone really ascertain whather this may also possibly cause changes to the fault lines on other continents. Can our grand and great grandchildren be guaranteed or should we not worry about them and their future?

Article on Prof Maarten de Wit at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and director of the Africa Earth Observatory Network, a research institute