25 000 comments on Thyspunt, Duynefontyn received by Nuclear Regulator

A number of issues have been raised by South Africans regarding Eskom’s application to construct a nuclear power station at Oyster Bay.

Some of these issues are an assessment of seismic hazards, the impact of nuclear emergency plan restrictions on land-use planning and development and the impact of the nuclear reactors on the marine and inland environments

The National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) received over 25 000 comments from affected parties and the general public in response to two nuclear installation site licence (NISL) applications received from Eskom during March 2016.

The applications were for Thyspunt, situated near St Francis Bay and Duynefontyn which is next to Koeberg, the only nuclear power station in South Africa.

The NNR said that, during the next stage of its NISL review process, it would conduct an in-depth review and evaluation of the issues raised. No time frames were provided for the conclusion of the next phase.

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The regulator would also decide on the need for further public consultation as appropriate.

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The NNR considered all comments received, with those falling under their ambit being:

 Need for higher safety standards considering lessons learned from Fukushima Daiichi
 Assessment of seismic hazards and other site characteristics;
 Impact of nuclear emergency plan restrictions on land-use planning and development;
 Evaluation of economic consequences of radiological accidents;
 Inadequate emergency and disaster management infrastructure in the country;
 Liability in case of a nuclear accident;
 Adequacy of information in the applications including lack of design specification;
 On site storage, management and disposal of radio-active waste;
 Impact on the surrounding areas due to plant operation and accidental releases;
 Risk associated with the operation of nuclear power plants;
 Manufacturing and construction concerns impacting safety;
 Lack of operational experience with Generation 3 plants;
 Potential releases to the public and environment;
 Emergency plan zoning and arrangements;
 Impact of the nuclear reactors on the marine and inland environments;
 Socio-economics and environmental impacts in general;
 Scarcity of water and impact on water resources;
 Health effects due to radiation exposure;
 Issues related to the regulatory process and adequacy of application documents.

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