Looking at the date at the bottom, I see that this is old news, dating from June 2003 !
Here's something a bit more recent....
SA Will Have To Spend Billions For Sustainable Nuke Power
SAPA (South African Press Association)
15 August 2005
South Africa would have to spend R25 billion on the proposed pebble-bed nuclear power project before it would be viable, Independent Online reported on Monday.
It said this emerged from an international report on the economic impact of the envisioned pebble bed modular reactor (PBMR).
The report says if the project goes ahead, South Africans might have to pay for "a series of expensive white elephants".
The cost of a PBMR demonstration plant, planned to be built at Koeberg has risen from R2 billion in 1999 to R14 billion now.
This excludes the decommissioning costs, which would be at least R5 billion.
The report written by Steve Thomas of the Public Service International Research Unit at the University of Greenwich, was commissioned by the Legal Resources Centre.
It will be part of a submission by Earthlife Africa to the environmental affairs department.
The department was ordered by the Cape High Court six months ago to reopen the environmental impact investigation for the pebble bed, but has not yet done so.
Thomas said economic forecasts by the PBMR company had not been updated since 1998 and were "implausibly optimistic".
He said because the demonstration plant would only incur costs, building it would only make sense if there was a high probability of a "stream of orders" from overseas.
Thomas said there was "nothing remotely close to a firm order" from overseas for a pebble bed reactor.
The main expected export market was China. Despite several years of discussions, Beijing had made no commitment.
South Africa had not been able to find another international partner since US company Exelon pulled out in 2002.
Exelon chief executive John Rowe said the reason for the withdrawal was that "the project was three years behind schedule and was too speculative".
French nuclear company Areva also indicated it was not prepared to fund the demo plant. Britain's BNFL, the only foreign partner, is in financial difficulties.
Thomas said the project's economic risks were likely to fall squarely on the South African public.
"It is particularly regrettable that a report by an international panel of experts, commissioned by the Department of Minerals and Energy to review the overall project, has not been made public," he wrote.
Thomas, a member of the panel, said panellists had been "required to promise not to disclose any information" about the report.
The Legal Resources Centre has tried under the Access to Information Act to get the minerals and energy department to release the document, but it has refused to do so.
Peter Bradford, former commissioner of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, peer-reviewed Thomas's report this month. His only criticism was that Thomas had been "conservative" in his concerns.
Bradford said Thomas had not considered the negative impact on the South African economy from electricity bill increases or tax increases to fund the project.
He had also not considered that the Chinese pebble bed design or the Areva prismatic nuclear design were likely to be competitors for whatever market developed for the pebble beds.
Earthlife Africa will make its presentation to the environmental portfolio committee on the PBMR on Tuesday.
From: Muckerheide, James [mailto:jimm@WPI.EDU]
Sent: Thursday August 18, 2005 3:22 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: [MbrExchange] "Pebble bed project met with outrage"
Enviro 'outrage' indicates progress! J
Regards, Jim Muckerheide
Pebble bed project met with outrage
Johannesburg - Earthlife Africa has expressed shock and outrage at the approval by the department of environmental affairs of an assessment that says the environmental impact of a planned pocket nuclear reactor near Cape Town is acceptable.
The environmental organisation has already secured a court date, on September 9, to continue its court action against Eskom's proposed construction of a pebble bed modular reactor at Koeberg.
An urgent application to the Pretoria high court failed in early June.
By approving the report before the court case was heard, the department appeared "to be ignoring the legal process, a case of bad manners at the least", Earthlife Africa said.
"The department appears to have adopted a cart-before-the horse approach, washing its hands of any responsibility for the critical environmental issues: those of safety and waste," the environmental organisation's Liz McDaid said.
"We are in the process of consulting with our legal advisers but we will certainly consider taking the decision on appeal. Judicial review is not ruled out."
Eskom welcomed the department's decision, saying it paved the way for the next phase of a "locally driven, leading edge nuclear technology project".
The power utility said the decision was "a major step towards the completion of the detailed feasibility phase of the project, which included an intensive environmental impact assessment performed by independent consultants".
It would be inappropriate to comment on specific issues during the 30-day period in which any party may lodge appeals with the department of environmental affairs, Eskom said, since the appeals would be handled by that ministry.
Earthlife Africa said that not only had the impact assessment process had been "flawed", but it also found the "Pontius Pilate [washing its hands] attitude of the government to its responsibilities extremely worrying".
"Despite considered opposition from public and environmental groups, including opposition from the Cape Town local authority, despite no solution for the spent fuel, despite using consultants who had worked for Eskom for the last 15 years, and despite numerous process and content problems, the government has approved" the assessment report.
Earthlife Africa also said it had hoped that the recent report on the long-term cost of nuclear power in Britain, and the multibillion rand cleanup bill that country, "and ultimately its people", would have to bear, would have been enough to convince the South African government that nuclear power was uneconomical.
The department was not available for comment.
Published on the web by Business Report on June 30, 2003.
© Business Report 2003. All rights reserved.
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