South Africa will construct at least six nuclear power stations with the first one being built at Thyspunt, near Jeffreys Bay.
This is according to deputy director general of the Department of Energy, Zizamele Mbambo, who said that construction of the first new nuclear plant will commence during 2017, at Thyspunt.
It is scheduled to be commissioned in 2023.
However, the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for Thyspunt are still incomplete and a lack of funding from Eskom has been blamed for the delay.
A number of fatal flaws were exposed by resident groups like the Thyspunt Alliance, in the first draft of the EIA’s but the long overdue second draft is still not forthcoming.
Simple errors like the prevailing wind direction were highlighted by concerned residents, while the impact on the Eastern Cape squid breeding grounds was also not fully investigated.
Building a nuclear power station on a shifting sand dune has also been questioned by environmentalists while the EIA’s also make mention of the expected influx of job seekers into a region that is already battling with high unemployment.
Whether South Africa can afford to spend R 1 trillion on a fleet of nuclear power stations is also debatable and there are serious concerns that the nuclear deal could make the controversial arms deal look tame in comparison.