Learn more about the organizations behind this No Nuke site.
Many organisations and individuals spoke out against the 9500MW nuclear deal. At the end of 2016 the need for a unified campaign became clear. Although the high court set aside the intergovernmental agreements, government has not abandoned its plans for nuclear. Therefore, we have come together again to campaign for a nuclear free future.
Government’s future plans for Koeberg
The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy has announced that government intends to extend the plant life of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station. Koeberg’s plant life was originally intended to end by 2024. Government now wants to extend its life by twenty years to end in 2044. Government has also indicated an intention to embark on a small-scale nuclear build programme to the extent of 2,500MW by 2030, at a pace, scale and cost affordable to the country.
Extending the lifespan of the ageing Koeberg plant
Koeberg is operated by Eskom and has two units. Koeberg 1 started operating commercially in 1984 and Koeberg 2 in 1985. Eskom intends to extend the operation of both units by 20 years so that the plant will operate until 2044. But, the plant is ageing and its technology is from the 1970s. That heightens the safety risks associated with Koeberg. If you think about the appliances in your home, do you have any that are from the 1970s? If you even have any, how well do they operate?
When Koeberg was originally built, it was within the guidelines for the number of people living in the immediate vicinity. However, as the City of Cape Town has grown over time, the number of people who live close to Koeberg has increased. In 2011, approximately 126,000 people lived within 20km of Koeberg Nuclear Power Station. Koeberg is within 40km of Cape Town – South Africa’s second most populous city with an estimated population of over 4.6 million people source.
2500MW new nuclear energy
While the Minister of Energy has announced an intention to embark on a small-scale nuclear build programme to the extent of 2,500MW by 2030, government’s own integrated resource plan does not envision new nuclear power coming onstream before 2030. Nuclear is not a solution to the current electricity supply shortages and loadshedding as it takes years to bring plants on stream.
Around the world, nuclear builds are well known for cost overruns. South Africa can ill-afford that. Even if government uses a Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model to finance small modular reactors, the costs must at some point be recouped and it is the public that will ultimately end up paying, for example through higher tariffs for this expensive electricity.