Attendees at a meeting with senior Eskom officials this week say they were left with no doubt a nuclear site at Thypsunt is a fait accompli.
Asked if the establishment of Thyspunt was inevitable, the officials replied in the affirmative.
David Nicholls, GM Nuclear Engineering and Carin de Villiers, Corporate Affairs explained how nuclear works, the effect it will have on this town – using as an example the town of Ellisras (Lephalale), plus safety lessons learnt from Fukushima. Also in attendance were officials in charge of the construction of the coal-fired power station at Medupi.
The meeting at the St Francis Links was poorly attended because publicity about it has been poor and most residents of the area had been totally unaware about it.
The following is a list of the questions attendees asked and the Eskom officials answers:
Question: “Is the establishment of Thyspunt inevitable?”
Answer: It’s the most favoured site from a seismic stability point of view. We are six years into the EIA process so there’s no going back.
The start date for construction is April 2015.
Even if it was not the first Choice Eskom will need to have the second best commissioned soon after the first.
Answer in short: Yes
Question: “What decision has been made with the roads servicing Thyspunt?”
Answer: Two roads will service Thyspunt; The existing R330 and the Humansdorp-Oyster Bay Road. Humansdorp town will be by-passed.
The road from the R330 to Thyspunt will be through The Dunes property.
A single road cannot go straight through to Thyspunt because of the moving sand dunes.
They would want to upgrade the roads before construction starts to avoid the problems they have with Medupi where they are trying to upgrade at the same time as construct.
Question:”We came to St Francis Bay for the peace and quiet so what can we expect with Thyspunt on our doorstep?”
Answer: Thyspunt was earmarked for a nuclear site a long time before many of us built or bought here so yes, your lives will change dramatically.
Question: “St Francis Bay faces serious challenges with its infrastructure due to incompetence and corruption in our Municipality. What effect will Thyspunt have on improving our roads etc?”
Answer: Eskom will not assume the responsibility of the Municipality but anything that affects Eskom will be addressed by Eskom in close consultation with the Municipality.
The officials explained that for instance, if Eskom needs a new road or bridge, it will build one.
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