firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Franta, Jaroslav
Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2005
Subject: RE: [MbrExchange]
"Pebble bed project met with outrage"
at the date at the bottom, I see that this is old news, dating from June 2003 !
Here's something a bit more
Have To Spend Billions For Sustainable Nuke Power
SAPA (South African Press
15 August 2005
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.
this emerged from an international report on the economic impact of the
envisioned pebble bed modular reactor (PBMR).
report says if the project goes ahead, South Africans might have to pay for
"a series of expensive white elephants".
of a PBMR demonstration plant, planned to be built at Koeberg has risen from R2
billion in 1999 to R14 billion now.
excludes the decommissioning costs, which would be at least R5 billion.
report written by Steve Thomas of the Public Service International Research
Unit at the University
of Greenwich, was
commissioned by the Legal Resources Centre.
be part of a submission by Earthlife Africa to the environmental affairs
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.
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.
said there was "nothing remotely close to a firm order" from overseas
for a pebble bed reactor.
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.
chief executive John Rowe said the reason for the withdrawal was that "the
project was three years behind schedule and was too speculative".
nuclear company Areva also indicated it was not prepared to fund the demo
BNFL, the only foreign partner, is in financial difficulties.
said the project's economic risks were likely to fall squarely on the South
"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.
member of the panel, said panellists had been "required to promise not to
disclose any information" about the report.
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
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.
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.
Africa will make its presentation to the environmental portfolio committee on
the PBMR on Tuesday.