Earthlife Africa JHB, Greenpeace Africa and SAFCEI have jointly filed an appeal of the environmental impact assessment for the proposed Duynefontein nuclear plant.
This Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process has been ongoing for almost a decade and has been heavily contested by affected communities and the broader South African society because of its potentially far-reaching implications.
According to Peter Becker from the Koeberg Alert Alliance and a member of the #StopSecretNukeDeal campaign, there are a number of powerful arguments why the approval must be overturned, beyond potential links to the previous corrupt administration’s nuclear aspirations.
Says Becker, “It’s hard to pick from the many important issues, but there are a few core arguments. Included is the fact – confirmed by former Finance Ministers – that South Africa has excess electricity and does not need nuclear power. Also, the proposed site is located dangerously close to the Milnerton fault line. This means there is a significant risk of potential earthquakes.”
“The actual design remains unknown at this stage, so we seriously question the veracity of the claim that the design of the nuclear plant will be so good that it will ‘practically eliminate’ the chance of a serious accident!” says Becker.
Communities in the Northern Cape and the Karoo are particularly concerned about the Duynefontein environmental approval, since these areas are directly connected to the nuclear fuel cycle. People living in the Northern Cape are at risk due to the location of Vaalputs nuclear waste dump, while Karoo communities remain under constant threat of potential uranium mining and associated human and environmental impacts.
According to Neville Van Rooy, a member of the Karoo Environmental Justice Movement (KEJM) and who joined the roadshow, communities in Atlantis said in a meeting yesterday that they are not happy with the safety and evacuation plans should something go wrong.