Necsa chairman Kelvin Kemm. Picture: THE HERALD
Necsa chairman Kelvin Kemm. Picture: THE HERALD

Nuclear Energy Corporation of SA (Necsa) chairman Kelvin Kemm recently told a conference in Moscow that Eskom’s proposed new nuclear power stations would be a done deal by end-2017, and Russia’s Rosatom would probably get the contract.

"It is unfathomable where Kemm gets the right to make pronouncements on decisions that still need to happen and public engagements which still have to occur," Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) energy director Ted Blom said on Wednesday.

"Alternatively, Kemm is telling us the decisions have already been made, which is the message the public has been whispering since 2013."

The government’s plan to build nuclear power stations able to produce 9.6GW of electricity was sent back to start again when the Western Cape High Court on April 26 overturned two Department of Energy determinations on the need for nuclear power and its procurement, and three intergovernmental agreements — with Russia, South Korea and the US — due primarily to lack of public consultation and transparency, Outa said in a statement.

"For the sake of transparency and fairness, I trust that Kemm is not part of the decision-making stakeholder forum, otherwise he has just shown his bias — which we would be happy to raise if we need to approach the courts for further relief from this corruption-driven deal," Blom said.

"The government’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), criticised during that court case as years out of date, is still being updated; public comment closed at the end of March but no revised draft has yet been seen.

"That needs finalising before any new nuclear planning can go ahead, and any new determinations on nuclear build and procurement must also go through the public participation process. Only then can procurement start."

Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi told the AtomExpo conference in Moscow on Wednesday that the government was reviewing the nuclear plans in light of the recession, Reuters reported.

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