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Eskom gets the environmental go-ahead for nuclear power station at Duynefontein

Eskom has been given the environmental green light for a nuclear power station at Duynefontein in the Western Cape from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). The site is next to the existing Koeberg nuclear installation.
Koeberg nuclear power station
“We welcome the authorisation by the DEA on the Final Environmental Impact Report (F-EIR) for the Nuclear-1 Power Station and associated infrastructure, and consider this an important milestone in the development process of South Africa’s nuclear programme. While we had worked on Thyspunt being the preferred site according to the F-EIR compiled by an independent environmental practitioner, Gibb, we have always considered both sites equally capable of hosting a nuclear power plant. To this end, we had progressed the nuclear installation site licence (NISL) to the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) for both sites," Dave Nicholls, Eskom’s chief nuclear officer, says.

At the beginning of the project, five sites were investigated at the scoping phase, which are Brazil and Schulpfontein in the Northern Cape on the west coast between Kleinzee and Hondeklip Bay, Bantamsklip in the Western Cape on the coast next to Pearly Beach east of Hermanus, Duynefontein in the Western Cape next to the existing Koeberg power station and Thyspunt in the Eastern Cape on the coast between Oyster Bay and St Francis Bay.

Although Brazil and Schulpfontein were excluded from further detailed specialist environmental studies for the Nuclear-1 EIA., Eskom says these and the other two sites are still usable in the future as no fatal flaws have been identified.

“Throughout the EIA process, more than 35 studies were undertaken, with some revised and updated, by experienced specialists and a comprehensive public participation process (PPP) was undertaken. The granted authorisation is confirmation of the adequacy of the extensive work undertaken," Nicholls says.

Going forward, Gibb and Eskom will interrogate the decision and will work within the regulations in terms of available options.
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