Nuclear News

Ongoing weak governance at the nuclear reactor

Written by Thursday, 12 November 2020 18:25

By Mwangi Githathu | published Nov 9, 2020

The lack of a civil society representative on the National Nuclear Regulator’s board is ‘contributing to ongoing weak governance
at the nuclear reactor’. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Concerns by the Koeberg Alert Alliance and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Institute (Safcei) about the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s (DMRE) failure to appoint a representative of civil society to the National Nuclear Regulator’s (NNR) board have been dismissed by the government.

The two lobby groups said in a statement that the lack of civil society representation on the board “is contributing to the ongoing weak governance at the NNR, whose role is to monitor and ensure regulations are followed for safety procedures and the prevention of nuclear accidents, resulting in poor oversight and a lack of transparency at the Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant”.

Koeberg Alert Alliance’s Peter Becker said: “According to the NNR Act of 1999, one member of the board should be a representative from civil society. However, when the Cabinet announced a new NNR board on August 5 2020, no such representative was included. Since the beginning of September, I have repeatedly emailed the NNR and the DMRE asking about the process of filling the vacancy, but have not received any answers as yet.”

Safcei’s executive director, Francesca de Gasparis, said: “It is entirely unacceptable that there is no civil society representative on the board of the NNR.

“Affected communities such as people living near Vaalputs – a radioactive waste dump in the Northern Cape – have the right to have a representative on the board who will represent their community and their interests for a safe and healthy environment. It is not right that the minister has not appointed a representative as stipulated in the NNR Act.”


Mariette Liefferink, who served on the NNR Board from 2009 to 2012, said: “Without an informed member of civil society on the board of the NNR to represent affected communities, their rights to human dignity, equality and an environment that is not harmful to health and well-being will continue to be violated.”

In response to the concerns, department spokesperson Thandiwe Maimane said: “The process aimed at securing the appointment of the representatives of organised business and civil society is currently under way.

“Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has initiated a comprehensive consultative process with the National Economic Development and Labour Council and the South African National Civic Organisation aimed at identifying suitable candidates to be considered for the appointment.

“Upon conclusion of this process, the identified individuals will be considered by the Cabinet prior to their appointment being effective, and their identities being made public.”

Maimane dismissed claims about the constitutionality of the board as it stands, and said: “The NNR Board is legally constituted.”

Original article here.

Watch the interview with eNCA's Thulasizwe Simelane here.

Desperately seeking justice

Written by Sunday, 18 December 2016 06:21

Ill workers and families want the nuclear body to own up~ published in Canvas Life by Sheree Bega

Carte Blanche: "Nuclear Fallout" Featured

Written by Wednesday, 13 April 2016 07:11

A ground-breaking study is underway to investigate the extent to which uranium-rich waste, left over from 130 years of gold mining, is a health hazard for residents exposed to dust and contaminated water.

Nukes Conference - Video Featured

Written by Friday, 08 April 2016 19:28

The video "Nukes Conference", a brief documentation of the "Nucleaerization of Africa"-Conference, Johannesburg, November 2015, has been released, giving an impression of the discussions and outcomes of the conference in Africa. 

Read original posting

Locks hold key to uranium exposure

Written by Tuesday, 02 February 2016 20:51

AS UMESH Bhana was snipping customers' hair this week, he had a novel proposal for them: would they be willing to donate 4cm locks to be analysed for traces of uranium?

Hare wys dalk uraangevaar

Written by Wednesday, 27 January 2016 14:28

Die antwoord op uraanbesmetting in die Wonderfonteinspruit en Soweto lê moontlik opgesluit in mense se hare.

Feedback in pictures

Written by Monday, 28 December 2015 11:22

The Federation for a Sustainable Environment co-hosted the recent Nuclearisation of Africa Conference.  The event brought together experts and interested parties on matters relating to nuclear energy, waste and mining of radio-active material. 

South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) research associate Angela Kariuki, speaking at the Nuclearisation of Africa symposium, in Kempton Park, last month, said that, in 2014, the commission compiled a report on the issues and challenges related to unregulated artisanal mining in South Africa based on these hearings. She said that the hearings revealed that, in South Africa, artisanal mining was not legally recognised, despite its growth and the potential opportunities it offered, economically and socially.  Article based on presentations delivered at the Nuclearisation of Africa Symposium. 

Prof. Nidecker of Radiology, University of Basel, Switzerland. Past president and board member of PSR / IPPNW Switzerland is interviewed along with independent international consultant on energy and nuclear policy releases, Co-author of yearly world Nuclear Industry Status Report, Mycle Schneider.  In this podcast they highlight topics and insights from the Symposium, "Nuclearisation of Africa". 



The FSE, in association with Gold Fields’ South Deep Mine, donated 40 white Karee Trees (Searsia penduline) during Arbor Week to the mining affected community of Simunye in the West Rand and participated in the tree planting ceremony with the community of Simunye, the local Municipality and officials from South Deep Mine.  The FSE also delivered a presentation during the ceremony.

"Varkies" gou op hok, maar als nie pluis | Beeld

Article also available for download as an attachment.

Radon Alert - Carte Blanche

Millions of South Africans are exposed to radioactive radon gas in their homes and workplaces every day, as the naturally occurring gas escapes through cracks in the earth. The second leading cause of lung cancer in several countries, radon breaks down and when inhaled, decaying atoms emit alpha radiation that can damage the DNA. There are no safe levels of radon concentration. The United States Environmental Protection Agency emphasises any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. Carte Blanche investigates why South Africa has no regulations to protect against radon accumulation in the home and what you can do to test your home and prevent lung cancer.   Watch the video here.

WITS Economics & Finance Courses: Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage

Economics & Finance Courses at the University of the Witwatersrand. Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage - Understand taxation for development and sustainability in mining. View the course here. Enrolment starts on the 7th of October 2019.