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The Koeberg Experience

Overview

Koeberg Power Station is the only nuclear power station on the African continent. It is situated at Duynefontein, 30km northwest of Cape Town in South Africa on the Atlantic coast. Koeberg ensures a reliable supply of electricity to the Western Cape one of the fastest growing regions in South Africa. It has operated safely for more than 21 years and efficiently for a decade and has a further active life of 30 - 40 years.

The stations' two reactors supply 1 800MW or 6% of South Africa's electricity needs. Koeberg has produced more than 81 000 million kWh of electricity since 1984 using seven and a half tonnes of uranium:

Operating Method

Koeberg is a strategic water user and saves 22 billion litres of fresh water per annum.  The condensers are cooled by means of sea water, which is returned to the sea after use. The sea water is not consumed. In a similar period of time, a coal-fired power station of the same size would use, more that 50 million tons of coal and 160 000 million litres of scarce fresh water. The fresh water would be consumed entirely. South Africa's fresh water resources are extremely scarce and, at current economic and population growth rates, South Africa is expected to experience a permanent water shortage from 2020.

Koeberg's two reactor containment buildings are made of concrete 1m thick, lined with steel. They are designed to ensure that no radiation escapes under any conceivable circumstances, from an earthquake to a jumbo jet collision.

Koeberg has created skills and provided jobs, homes and medical facilities. Koeberg employs approximately 1 200 people. Indirectly, the station creates about another 600 local jobs off-site, and about 2 000 jobs in the general South African nuclear industry.

Women in nuclear South Africa

 


In the non-nuclear industry about 100 local firms supply equipment to Koeberg.

Koeberg has utilised part of its land as a private nature reserve. Great care has been taken to conserve and restore the coastal landforms, wetlands and various forms of vegetation and animal life indigenous to the area. Among the animals in the reserve are bontebok, duiker, grysbok, steenbok, African wild cat, genet and rooikat or caracal. There are several hiking trails through the reserve.

Visitors are welcome all year round.

Emergency Planning