July 22, 2010 by dyertrust

Eskom has identified three sites along the South African coastline as potential plots for a Nuclear Power Station (NPS). Although not the first preferred site, Bantamsklip, just over 20kms from Gansbaai and 10kms from Dyer Island, is one of them.

The proposed site for Bantamsklip is situated within a habitat that is unique not only to this continent but to the whole world’s ecosystems. The cold Benguela system on the Atlantic side meets the warm Agulhas Indian Ocean. There is no other area in the world where two such differing bodies of water mix as close to a coastline as here along Cape Agulhas. This marine environment is hosting unique species such as the Great White shark; the endangered African Penguin, abalone, various dolphin species (including the rare Humpback dolphin) an incredible array of seabirds and the Cape Fur seal. The Southern Right whale is also depending on this coastline every year from July to December when they come to mate and calve.

This site also lies within the important internationally recognized biodiversity hotspot, presently registered as a South African Natural Heritage Site.

The Trust is convinced that the establishment of a Nuclear Power Station will create permanent changes in the present marine environment due to different impacts such as – an increase in water temperature, increase of sediment in the water column, chemical pollution, increased underwater noise level and potential intake of marine animals with the cooling water. The Trust questions the statement in the Marine Ecology Study from Eskom (refer page 7) quoting a study from Awad et al. which states that there is no rare or endangered marine species known from the location The study from Awad et al. only concerns the bottom living species and not all the species in the area. The Trust is highly concerned that our rare and endangered marine species that have not been considered will experience devastating impacts in relation to the NPS. DICT finds the current baseline data concerning this area and the ecosystem insufficient. In order to protect this area’s unique marine biodiversity, the Trust calls for for a revised Environmental Impact Assessment and further research and has made recommendations in this regard.

On the 30th of June The Trust submitted the document for the public hearing; Letter of concern associated with the establishment of a Nuclear Power Station at Bantamsklip to ACER (Africa) Environmental Management Consultants for review by Eskom…