SAYNPS
Koeberg nuclear power plant. Source: Bjorn Rudner

Eskom has issued a statement to confirm that Koeberg nuclear power station is currently running both units safely and producing 1,960MW into South Africa’s power grid.

This follows after a vlogger, Willem Petzer, uploaded a video - which questions the safety of the nuclear power station. Below, the vlogger explains what led to him shooting that video.

Nuclear regulation

Responding to the claims, Koeberg general manager, Velaphi Ntuli said: “Koeberg nuclear power station operates within a highly regulated environment guided by the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR). Our licence has in place stringent conditions that we always adhere to under close regulation by the NNR. To this end, the information that Mr Petzer has twisted is from a public document with responses given to Parliament about three incidents."

Ntuli further explains: “In May 2014 and October 2015 small quantities of water with very low radiation levels was released to the ocean without adequate monitoring as a result of defective equipment. In the November 2015 event, a small quantity of air was released from the containment building directly to the atmosphere without going through the monitored path.

“In all these events the radiation activity levels were determined to be very low and well within the regulatory requirements. These incidents, while negligible, were duly reported to the NNR, in line with the licence requirements.”

Eskom’s nuclear oversight committee

Ntuli continued: “It is important to note that Eskom’s nuclear oversight committee conducted a thorough investigation in order to understand in detail, the impact of the three events even though these were below regulatory levels."

"The committee found that there was no risk to members of the public, staff, or the environment. South Africans can rest assured that there are no radioactive waste leaks at Koeberg,” added Ntuli.

Eskom noted that in pursuit of transparency and accountability, Koeberg power station hosts quarterly Public Information Safety Forum meetings where members of the public are given detailed feedback about the station’s safety and performance.

“We invite those interested in learning about nuclear safety and how a nuclear power plant is run to attend these sessions, schedule a visit to our visitors centre or browse the Eskom website to get facts around nuclear,” Ntuli concluded.