Officials Questioning Eskoms Koeberg Plant Life Extension Plans

Cape Town officials are trying to understand how Eskom could go ahead with plans to extend a nuclear plant’s lifespan without public consultation.
The Koeberg plant was built in the 1970s and by international standards, it was meant to be decommissioned by 2024.
On the third of next month, Eskom will switch off one of two reactors to begin a mass overhaul, which is meant to extend the lifetime of the plant by another 20 years.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, extending the life of a nuclear plant isn’t uncommon, but needs to be done with great care.
However, with less than two weeks to go, Cape Town Energy and Climate Change director Kadri Nassiep said they have yet to be consulted.
“The directorates that I have spoken to that are the most affected, which is energy and climate change as well as spatial planning and environment, have not been communicated with.”
Nassiep said this lack of transparency leaves much room for concern, especially around the potential dangers and environmental risks.
“One needs to understand the impacts of a long term extension of life of Koeberg. Obviously we remain concerned about the environmental side which needs to be addressed and the are other concerns that need to be raised.”
The upgrades to those two nuclear units are expected to take around six months each.
When Eskom shuts down the first reactor next month it will leave South Africa without 920 megawatts of power, almost as much as a single stage of load shedding.