PROPOSED NUCLEAR POWER STATION TO CREATE PERMANENT CHANGES IN MARINE ENVIRONMENT
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 Assesment 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 aNuclear Power Station at Bantamsklipto ACER (Africa) Environmental Management Consultants for review by Eskom…On Friday 23rd July, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust together with the 6th Grade class from Blompark Primary hoped to make a difference and headed off to Danger Point for a beach clean up.
Teams of four were formed and together with the assistance of the international volunteers from Marine Dynamics and teacher, Mr Dreyer, each group collected waste and filled in the data cards which are in turn submitted to the Ocean Conservancy. All data cards and plastic bags are provided for by the Plastics Federation of South Africa.
The clean up is part of an educational campaign by the Trust to raise awareness of marine pollution and its consequences on our marine life. Only one hour on the beach in a 1km stretch and 15 bags were filled with rubbish. The worst offenders were fishing line (160 pieces) and pieces of rags and clothing items (over 300), along with bottles, glass and bags. On return to the Great White House for cooldrinks and hot dogs, the children learnt more about the fishing line bins that will soon be put up in fishing areas by the Trust in a joint project with the local municipality.
The Trust would like to thank
Photos: Ilona Veenema (Netherlands)