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Koeberg is well equipped to handle its nuclear waste

Koeberg power station.

Koeberg nuclear power station.

Koeberg nuclear power station is well equipped to handle its nuclear waste, according to a recent KPMG study.

The recent study focused on the socio-economic impact of the nuclear power station from 2012 to 2025. It indicated that the site is well equipped to handle the correct safety regulations which it has been doing for more than 33 years.

The correct operation of nuclear installations at the plant is overseen by the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR). The NNR has also committed to monitoring the correct disposal of nuclear waste, establishing safety standards and regulatory practices, and prescribing protective measures in order to protect the public.

Koeberg’s waste disposal

The nuclear power plant disposes of its waste at the Vaalputs Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility. It is the only one in South Africa, and is located in the Northern Cape.

Low-level nuclear waste produced at Koeberg is compressed onsite into sealed steel drums and is then transported to Vaalputs in specially designed trucks for disposal into 10m-deep trenches.

Vaalputs receives approximately 500 steel drums of low-level nuclear waste a year.

Intermediate-level waste is solidified as it is mixed with cement and is then poured into concrete drums. These drums are also transported from Koeberg to Vaalputs in specially designed disposal trucks.

The study also highlighted Koeberg as a direct economic contributor for both the Western Cape and the national economy through its electricity production.

With the South African government looking to expand on its nuclear power programme, Koeberg has served as a basis for this, having provided power to the national power grid since 1984.

Lullu Krugel, director and chief economist at KPMG, said that the methodology which KPMG employed to conduct this review was based on internationally accepted standards, with detailed information supplied by Eskom and official statistics.

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