Eskom’s chief nuclear officer at Koeberg power station resigns

Riedewaan Barkadien

Riedewaan Barkadien

Published Jul 11, 2022


Cape Town - Embattled parastatal Eskom is losing Riedewaan Barkadien, one of its seasoned leaders at the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station.

After 27 years at Eskom, Koeberg’s chief nuclear officer, Barkadien, has resigned and will take up a job at a Canadian nuclear utility in an executive position.

His resignation is effective from July 31.

Eskom chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer announced changes to leadership during a media briefing on Monday morning about the system challenges the power utility is faced with.

Oberholzer said Barkadien resigned earlier this year and is serving his notice period in terms of his employment contract.

“We wish him well and all the best. We are also grateful for all his contributions.

“Keith Featherstone, a long-standing nuclear executive, with over 30 years’ of nuclear experience, as well as a previous Koeberg Power Station manager, will be acting in the chief nuclear officer role while the recruitment process is under way,” he said.

Barkadien said as Koeberg is the only nuclear power station in Africa, they have all played a role in keeping the plant safe and the best place to work.

“The decision to resign was, therefore, by no means an easy decision,” he said.

According to Oberholzer, the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) in Atlanta in the US has selected the current acting Koeberg Power Station general manager, Nomawethu Mtwebana, to join as a reverse loanee for the next year.

Mtwebana will be leaving shortly after the completion of the current outage of Unit 2 at the end of July.

She will be a peer reviewer, reviewing performance at various plants in the US during her time at WANO and is expected to bring this learning experience back to Koeberg.

Mahesh Valaitham, a long-standing senior manager with over 27 years of nuclear power plant experience, will be acting in Mtwebana’s position.

Oberholzer said Eskom had access to a sufficiently experienced and competent executive team to continue ensuring a safe and smooth operation at Koeberg.

Cape Times

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