Empty casks to store the annual 32 tonnes of nuclear fuel waste at Koeberg are available, but the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) has to give the go ahead to use this. However, with 95% of available space already filled to capacity, the NNR seems to be taking time in providing the go ahead. These casks cost almost USD 14 million three years ago.
Storage of this increasing high-level radioactive waste is a major concern in the region, especially in the vicinity of Cape Town’s beautiful beaches. The used radioactive fuel presents a huge danger for at least a 1000 years (Remember the disaster in Japan?)
With Eskom’s plans to keep the nuclear plant alive until 2024, a request for another 14 casks is awaited. In the meantime, Makoma Lekalakala, Earthlife Africa’s director, said that with the NNR dragging its feet, the situation is dire and could turn into disaster.