South Africa has a history of not being able to secure the Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant just north of Cape Town. The first breach of security was in 1982 when an ANC activist Rodney Wilkinson managed to cause R 500 million damage to Koeberg in a series of explosions just before the plant became operational.
This followed the 2002 “invasion” of Koeberg by Green Peace who staged a raid on rubber ducks that eventually saw six of them unfurl banners at the nuclear power plant after scaling a five story high seawater pump house.
In 2006 the then Public Enterprises Minister, Alec Erwin stated that a loose bolt that brought Koeberg to it’s knees was “an act of sabotage”. He later denied having made the statement but the concerns will linger forever.
Just how safe will a nuclear power station at Thyspunt be?
The largely uncontrolled Southern Coast of South Africa would cause Thyspunt to be vulnerable to a sea attack. There is no naval base close by and the proposed nuclear power plant would be closely situated to the shipping lanes.
Nearby air landing strips would make an aerial attack a possibility as well. Presumably Eskom will have some kind of security plan up it’s sleeve that won’t impact on an already overworked and under staffed South African Police in the region.
The reality is that residents of the larger Jeffreys Bay region will be in serious trouble should something go wrong at Thyspunt. Many do not have vehicles to move out of the danger zone while the national and secondary roads in the area would never to able to handle the traffic a large scale evacuation would cause.