There are indications that the new site for South Africa’s next nuclear power station could be announced in the next two months. Thyspunt, near St Francis Bay, is one of three identified sites and is regarded as the most favourable.
The announcement comes as government is looking at alternative energy sources – wind farms, solar farms and larger nuclear power stations, in the light of the current power shortages in the country.
Since the mid-eighties, Thyspunt has been identified as a possible spot for the nuclear power station, as were Banatamklip and Duinefontein.
Currently, the country only has two nuclear reactors at Koeberg in Cape Town, which generate 5% of the country’s electricity – and with the coal power stations meeting their ultimate power usage by 2025, there is an urgency to find alternatives soon.
While addressing a nuclear summit not far from the proposed site at St Francis Bay, CEO of Nuclear Africa, Dr. Kelvin Kemm says the country has all the necessary knowledge and skills to manage another nuclear plant, with a possibility of doubling energy resources by 2035.
He said that Thyspunt is a good area and there will not be any challenges for this project.
The local municipality has also given its approval to the proposed power plant – which holds massive economical potential for the region.
However, the Thyspunt nuclear power station has long been associated with controversy and strong opposition from local environmentalists and residents who fear the plant would damage the surrounding environment.
Further public participation events must still be completed before any decisions can be made.