16.10.2017_No206 / News in Brief

South Africa Approves Environmental Impact Report For Eskom’s Duynefontein Nuclear Site

Plans & Construction

16 Oct (NucNet): South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has granted permission to state-owned utility Eskom to proceed with its plans for a proposed new-build project at the Duynefontein site, Eskom said in a statement. According to the statement, the DEA has approved Eskom’s final environmental impact report for the Duynefontein site, which is near the existing Koeberg nuclear station on the southwest coast of South Africa. Dave Nicholls, Eskom’s chief executive officer, said the company welcomes the DEA’s decision and sees it as a ”milestone” in the development of South Africa’s nuclear programme. He said Eskom considers both the Duynefontein and Thyspunt sites as equally capable to host its Nuclear-1 new-build project, although the company has worked on Thyspunt as the preferred option. In April 2016, Eskom filed two separate nuclear site licence applications for Duynefontein and Thyspunt with the country’s National Nuclear Regulator (NNR). Mr Nicholls said the two applications have been making progress with the NNR. According to Eskom, five sites were investigated for the new-build project initially, including Brazil and Schulpfontein in the Northern Cape, Bantamsklip in the Western Cape, Duynefontein in the Western Cape next to the existing Koeberg power station, and Thyspunt in the Eastern Cape. The Brazil and Schulpfontein sites were later excluded from the examination process. South Africa is aiming to build up to 9,600 MW of new nuclear capacity. The two-unit Koeberg nuclear station outside Cape Town is the country’s only commercially operating nuclear station. In April 2017, Eskom’s nuclear programme experienced a setback when a high court declared a number of procurement deals with Russia, China, the US, South Korea and France illegal. Last month, Eskom said it was ready to restart the procurement process, but determining the exact timing was up to the South African government.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • South Africa Close To Restarting New Nuclear Procurement Programme, Say Reports (News in Brief No.185, 18 September 2017)

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