South Africa's Proposed Nuclear Power Plant Unsafe: Study

South Africa's Proposed Nuclear Power Plant Unsafe: Study

FILE - The cooling towers at Eskom's coal-powered Lethabo power station are seen near Sasolburg, South Africa.


JOHANNESBURG —

South African power provider Eskom has proposed building a nuclear power station on a site that may be at risk of surge storms and tsunamis, a geological report suggests, but the state-owned utility disputes the findings.

South Africa has the continent's only nuclear power station and plans to expand nuclear power generation to meet growing electricity demand in Africa's most industrialized country.

The report by Maarten de Wit, a professor at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and director of the Africa Earth Observatory Network, a research institute, says canyons in the bedrock would need to be secured.

"If you are going to build anything on that, it's pretty prone to storms, sea level rises and tsunamis," De Wit told Reuters on Friday.

The site at Thyspunt, near Port Elizabeth in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, is on the Indian Ocean coastline.

The report also showed seismic activity along dormant fault lines near the site that could trigger submarine landslides.

Any such activity "is likely to generate a large submarine slump, and a possible significant local tsunami that would affect the coastal region, including Thyspunt," the report said, warning that a plant at Thyspunt could be at risk of devastation similar that in Fukushima in Japan in 2011.

The utility has applied to the nuclear regulator for licenses to build nuclear plants at Thyspunt and Duynefontein in the Western Cape province. The regulator has pledged thorough safety assessments.

"We have defined the height at which we have to build the plant to ensure that we ... avoid those tsunamis," Eskom's Chief Nuclear Officer David Nicholls told Reuters.

"That does include an allowance for global warming and average sea temperature rising," he added.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Phil Mitchell returns to the Square in explosive fashion – and fans react!

Phil Mitchell returns to the Square in explosive fashion – and fans react!..

25-Jul, 16:20

EastEnders fans were in shock on Tuesday night after the much-anticipated...

Adobe to kill off Flash plug-in by 2020

Adobe to kill off Flash plug-in by 2020..

25-Jul, 14:00

Adobe Systems has said that it plans to phase out its Flash Player...

Barbara Sinatra, activist and widow of Frank, dies at 90

Barbara Sinatra, activist and widow of Frank, dies at 90..

25-Jul, 20:40

Barbara Sinatra, the philanthropist and widow of singer Frank Sinatra,...

VP Pence vows 'no one will fall through the cracks' in plan to replace Obamacare

VP Pence vows 'no one will fall through the cracks' in plan to replace Obamacare..

01-Mar, 07:25

Vice President Mike Pence said today "no one will fall through the...

Europe: Albania opposition shouldn't stop judicial reform

Europe: Albania opposition shouldn't stop judicial reform..

22-Feb, 08:12

A senior European Parliament politician has called on the Albanian...

Joe Lieberman says across-the-board party opposition to Trump is 'thoughtless'

Joe Lieberman says across-the-board party opposition to Trump is 'thoughtless'..

01-Mar, 21:24

To Democrats calling for a unified party of resistance to Donald Trump,...

Uber CEO caught on video arguing over fares with driver

Uber CEO caught on video arguing over fares with driver..

01-Mar, 06:40

Uber's CEO says he needs leadership help after a video has emerged of him...