Shocking revelations emerged at the Public Participation Meeting held in St Francis Bay on Tuesday regarding the impact a nuclear power station at Thuyspunt will have on the local Chokka (squid industry).

It seems that Eskom regards the decimation of the Chokka breeding grounds as being acceptable collateral damage and nothing to become concerned about as they have indicated that Thuyspunt is their preferred site to build a huge 10 000 MW nuclear power plant which will be the biggest the world has ever seen.

Greg Christy, a representative of the Chokka industry said the dumping of sediment perilously close to the breeding grounds of the squid could cause the industry to be decimated in the Eastern Cape. The industry is a major producer of foreign exchange for South Africa.

The Chokka industry earns billions of rand for the region and is a major employer which would mean a huge loss of jobs and spending power should the proposed nuclear power plant be built.

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(The new look for Jeffreys Bay – power lines stacked to the horizon)

Surf tourism would be adversely affected as well as many South African and international surfers indicated in a survey conducted by the influential Supertubes Surfing Foundation (SSF) in 2008 that they would not be keen on returning to Jeffreys Bay should there be a risk of contaminated water so close to the waves.

According to Alison Kuhl from the SSF, over 5000 people signed a petition in 2008 opposing the building of the nuclear power station at Thuyspunt. “Nobody can actually tell us what the impact will be should millions of tons of sand be dumped in the ocean, which is a concern to surfers worldwide”, said Kuhl.

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(Above: Remembering the victims of the Chernobyl disaster. The Thuyspunt nuclear power station will be the biggest nuclear power station the world has ever seen)

 

 “This goes beyond what your personal opinion about nuclear energy is. Thuyspunt is simply the wrong place to build a nuclear power station and the surf community will be encouraged over the next two months to again register their opposition to the plan”, added Kuhl. The campaign was supported by former world champ Shaun Tomson as well as multiple world champion Kelly Slater

The Supertubes Foundation will be using the International Day of Surfing on 20 June to highlight the surf community’s opposition to the Thuyspunt development. Zigzag surfing magazine has indicated that it will support the Foundation in publicizing the objection to a nuclear power plant so close to the waves made famous by Bruce Brown in the iconic movie “The Endless Summer”.

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(Above: Shaun Tomson, the 1977 World Surfing Champion opposes the building of a nuclear power plant so close to Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay)

Send your comments and objections regarding a nuclear power station to Bongi of Acer Africa before the 31st of May 2010 on bongi.shinga@acerafrica.co.za

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