The majority of the wider Jeffreys Bay community are opposed to the building of one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants near Oyster Bay.
How can this proposed nuclear power station at Thyspunt affect us?
There are no safety guarantees from Eskom. Accidental radioactive fallout at Thyspunt would be potentially 5 times that of Chernobyl which will result in tens of thousands of deaths, long term cancers and birth deformities. The full effects of Chernobyl are only now being understood.
Children will be the most affected victims. Evacuating in time will not be possible as there are limited escape routes. We will be permanently resettled. All agricultural activities more than 100 km will cease. Farming and dam water could be affected as far as 400 km away.
No new schools:
No new schools will be allowed in the area which certainly have a negative impact on the St Francis Bay community. Factors such as wind and the unusually large size of the nuclear plant will affect the emergency planning zone which should be 20 km. Eskom has been pushing for an even smaller emergency zone.
This plant is more than 4 times the size of Koeberg, near Cape Town. Visual impact of the plant includes huge masts and transmission lines that will be substantial and visible all the way to Port Elizabeth.
No job creation:
Jobs will be essentially for highly skilled personnel who will be brought in from overseas and other parts of the county. What will become of all the construction workers and their families once the building phase is completed?
Fishing and Tourism industry:
Restrictions will be place on further and present development of these industries which will have a negative effect on the local economy. Jobs and businesses will be threatened as eco-tourism is a growing trend within tourism world wide. Will foreign visitors seeking open beaches and a laid back experience want to visit an industrial wasteland? The chokka industry will almost certainly have to relocate from the Kouga region.
Radioactive waste will be stored at Thyspunt which adds to the dangerous nature of the plant. There is no solution to the hazardous radioactive waste problem worldwide. Radioactive waste remains lethal for thousands of years.
Sea water is used for cooling at the plant which will result in temperature changes affecting marine life. Construction and accidental radioactive fallout will affect the environment.
Cost of electricity increases with nuclear power. Whilst it can be argued that nuclear is a cleaner technology than coal driven power, there are other costs and dangers attached. Renewable energy is really the only way forward, not only for South Africa, but the entire world.