Thyspunt – The Debacle Continues

By Hilton Thorpe: Two points are increasingly emerging. One is (whatever ones’ view is on Nuclear Power) that Thyspunt is a thoroughly unsuitable site for a nuclear power station. The other is that Eskom and the Department of Energy are determined to press ahead regardless, in pursuit of so-called “national interest”.

The required legal procedures are being treated as if they are a mere formality, and with contempt. Massive environmental and social impacts have emerged, and serious flaws are being played down or ignored.

Eskom is behaving as if the major decisions have already been made. The consultants will shortly be applying for Records of Decision for the site and the transmission lines, despite the fact that crucial material information is still not available.

Eskom appears to have recognized that the Thyspunt site is not viable in terms of current NNR requirements for emergency planning. The solution is to seek to change the rules, reducing internationally-recognised emergency planning zones from 16 to 3 kilometres.

This would be done in terms of “European Utility Requirements” (EURs), which are a product of the European nuclear industry, and have not been recognized by any national nuclear regulator worldwide. As Eskom has still not determined which specific technology will be used, it cannot apply to the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) for a license.

This issue remains unresolved, so the entire EIA has been undertaken at risk. This, of course, smacks of insider information.

The impact on St Francis Bay and the Kromme community will be massive and dire. Eskom plans to use the R330 to transport its heavy & ultra-heavy loads, across the Kromme River bridge, past the village to the “Dunes”. This would involve tens of thousands of heavy loads past the village, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for some ten years.

Such an access would guarantee an exponential growth in our squatter community, with all the social pathologies which would inevitably result. This despite the fact that the original site selection process specifically stated that the coastal resorts should be left unaffected. Where is our constitutional right to fair and just administration?

The Thyspunt Alliance, of which the Residents’ Association is a member, is committed to opposing the entire proposal, and to participating fully in the process. It looks certain that, whichever way the Record of Decision goes; it will lead to an appeal.

If this fails, the Alliance is gearing up for court action, which will only be possible if the affected communities as a whole give it the required financial support. With this is mind, a campaign will shortly be undertaken to seek pledges of support should this be required.

See related post: Thyspunt  – a fait accompli? :

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