Nuclear sites: Eskom’s requests gazetted
Johannesburg - The notice of Eskom’s applications for the two nuclear power station sites has been gazetted, with calls for public comment.
The application for the Thyspunt site near Humansdorp, in the Kouga municipality in the Eastern Cape, was gazetted on Monday and the application for the Duynefontein site near Koeberg in the City of Cape Town was gazetted on July 29.
The notices were in the relevant provincial government gazettes.
Both sites are now in municipalities controlled by the DA.
The short notices indicate only that Eskom has applied to the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) for nuclear installation site licences for Thyspunt and Duynefontein.
Both notices provide for public representations in writing to the board of the NNR for 30 days from the date of each notice.
“Written comments received after the closing date will not be considered,” said the notices.
Duynefontein is about 25km north of Cape Town and is an existing nuclear site, as the Koeberg nuclear power station is there.
Eskom made both applications to the NNR in March.
Yesterday, NNR spokesman Gino Moonsamy said the applications for licences had been checked and passed by the NNR, which was why they were being gazetted.
“They have applied for a licence to the regulator and the licence is now under further consideration,” he said.
The public comment sought was to get a feeling of public opinion on the applications - “very generic comment” - rather than detailed comment, said Moonsamy.
After this stage, public hearings will be held, which will take longer, possibly months.
The public hearings will look at the safety case for the reactors.
The NNR will require Eskom to produce a public information pack for the public hearings.
“That public information document will be made available in the public domain, and whoever wants to make representation needs to use that document, which has substantial information,” Moonsamy said.
In March, after the applications were made, the NNR said both applications were to “construct and operate multiple nuclear installations (power reactors) and associated auxiliary nuclear installations of a plant type and technology not yet identified”.
The NNR said in March that it would review the applications to check for compliance and whether they should be accepted for further technical assessments and public comment. It promised that further developments, such as the site licence applications, would be be published in the Government Gazette.
Last week, Eskom also gazetted a notice about its application to the NNR for a non-nuclear-powered vessel to dock in Cape Town sometime in November, bringing nuclear fuel to replenish Koeberg.