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Dunefield in the way of nukeplant March 18, 2008

Posted by Andreas in Environment, News, Nuclear Power, South Africa.
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We spend a few days in Cape St Francis in the Eastern Cape recently. From where we were staying, you have a clear view of Thyspunt, one of the sites Eskom has proposed for a conventional (i.e. not a Pebble Bed Modular Reactor) nuclear power plant.

This picture of the dunefield is on the front page of the March edition of the St Francis Chronicle (excuse the amateurish cut-and-paste job):

SF1

The headline reads:

SF2

According to the accompanying story:

Access roads to the proposed Thyspunt nuclear site will need to cross the St Francis mobile dune field and attendant wetlands. This will result in untold damage to the dunes and wetlands, and could impact negatively on St Francis Bay, aggravating the town’s current storm water and flooding problems.

[…]

according to Professor Richard Cowling of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and a resident at Cape St Francis, […] the (Draft Scoping) Report should have eliminated Thyspunt as a site for the proposed nuclear facility (but of course this didn’t happen).

It’s great to see that there is growing local awareness of the problems associated with atomic energy. It’s unclear to me at the moment, however, whether the opposition of people in the St Francis Bay area is simply a matter of “not in my backyard”, or if it’s a principled stance against nuclear power in general. I hope, of course, it is the latter.

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