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Take kouberg's design and the planned future plants' designs - what then would be the result of a catastrophic accident at these plants? Meltdown, sure but what exactly would the result be? Does anyone know?Well technically a meltdown which would probably result in the area becoming a nature resort for the next 1000 years... (Basically what Chernobyl is now)
My 2 cents...Not quite. The point is that if a nuclear plant engineer can drop a bolt in the turbine, what is to say he is not going to drop something else, elsewhere? Ask Louis Slotin. Or his ghost.
Bolts in generators are not unknown; there have been a couple of generators disabled due to tiny pieces of metal (usually bolts) finding their way in (at coal-fired plants). Maintenance people are not permitted to take any metal whatsoever in (including zips, buttons etc on clothing), and tools must be checked in and out. Accidents happen, though, and when they do, damage is in the hundreds of millions of Rands. (These are accidents to the generating facilities, no the power plants themselves).Not quite. The point is that if a nuclear plant engineer can drop a bolt in the turbine, what is to say he is not going to drop something else, elsewhere? Ask Louis Slotin. Or his ghost.
CIMA isn't bean counting. However, financial accountants are paid allot of money, because they can count, if you think so little of it, try do it, you can earn allot of money and you make it sound easy.Is that all? In beancounting? From a questionable little provincial university? Which qualifies you to pronounce on nuclear matters?
About Koeberg - just as the radiation does not affect their staff? Why not ask Ron Lockwood, if he is still alive.
Nothing really - I was just trying to rile Mr. Financial Analyst. You know, he's so important, he put the "Anal" in "Analyst"!LOL, dude I'm all for nuclear power but damn you have a big ego!
@rwenzori: What's wrong with potch? My impression was their one of the better universities in SA.
The saga plays out at length in Noseweeks 53, 54 and 55. Much too much to post. But some excerpts:Rwenzori, could you provide some info on Ron Lockwood?
He then got stuffed around badly by Eskom and Koeberg big time. Looooong story. Very nasty.Lockwood is an electronics technician who in the course of his work at the nuclear power station risked exposure to radiation from time to time – for example, when he was required to service the camera that monitors the nuclear reactor itself
In June 1996, having been a “radiation worker” at Koeberg for 15 years, he was persuaded by Eskom’s offer of a package to take early retirement. Still healthy – so he thought – and only 56, Lockwood reckoned he still had it in him to try something else for a living.
He attended Koeberg’s medical facility for his “exit” medical examination on the morning of 28 June 1996. Sister Marie Anneveldt conducted the examination and took a blood sample. The medical appeared to him to be the same as the annual “Radiation Worker” medical usually conducted by the appointed Eskom doctor.
At the end of the examination Sister Anneveldt surprised him when she asked him to sign a blank medical history, saying she would fill in the details later.
The front page of the form detailed the scope and objectives of the Eskom Medical Surveillance Programme. These include “the promotion and securing of the health and safety of employees through the early detection of disease”.
Under the heading “Medical Examiners” it states that the periodic medical examinations of “licensed operators” and “radiation workers” [all those Koeberg employees that are potentially exposed to radiation in the course of their work] may only be conducted by a medical practitioner appointed for that purpose by the Council for Nuclear Safety. Clearly the examination was not intended by law to be a mere formality.
When Lockwood expressed reluctance to sign a blank form, Sister Anneveldt said that if he refused, she would not sign his employment clearance certificate. He would then not be able to leave and collect his final cheque.
Lockwood found parts of section 17 of the form particularly disturbing. It appeared to hold him liable for any misinformation, and exclude Eskom from any liability, so, before signing the otherwise blank form, he put a line through the section and signed the alteration. Sister Anneveldt then signed his clearance certificate and he was able to leave.
Two years later Lockwood was admitted to hospital for a routine surgical procedure. When, in preparation for surgery, a sample of his blood was analysed, he was found to have an abnormally high white cell count. Further tests and a bone marrow biopsy revealed that he had lymphatic leukaemia – and that the disease was so advanced that it must have been present for some years.
With some difficulty, he managed to persuade Koeberg’s senior medical officer to give him copies of all the pathologists’ reports on his file.
Imagine his anger when he discovered that as early as 1986 – 10 years before he was persuaded to take early retirement – the pathologist’s report had indicated signs of illness.
The report was not shown to Lockwood or followed up in any way.
We must make sure that all our business relationships reflect our personal integrity, respect for human dignity and the rights of others, honesty, and commitment to what is right, fair, reasonable, legal and – most importantly – just.
Eskom chief executive Thulani S Gcabashe
Now, where Eskom is concerned, there are a number of values that we consider to be inviolate. Integrity we would insist on. Probity is something we would insist on.
Eskom chairman Reuel Khoza
In our last issue we started telling the story of Ron Lockwood, a radiation worker at Eskom’s Koeberg Nuclear Power Station who was pressured into taking early retirement in 1996. He did not know that, buried in Koeberg’s secret medical files, were pathologists’ reports showing that for the previous nine years he had had elevated white blood cell counts – the first signs of progressive chronic leukaemia.
Understandably, as we explain in the second instalment of the story on page 18, he has never attempted to prove that exposure to radiation at Koeberg was the cause of his cancer. He has neither the time nor the resources to wager on such a high-risk court case. All he wanted was for Eskom to compensate him for having persuaded him to take early retirement when, in view of what was in those files, it was patently not in his best interests to do so. Eskom has, even on that score, contrived to avoid it’s responsibility. Until now.
Eskom’s employees at Koeberg and the public of Cape Town are entitled to a much wider-ranging enquiry. How many Koeberg employees in those years showed elevated white blood cell counts or developed cancer? The only way of knowing if radiation is causing cancer at Koeberg is if the incidence of cancer is higher there than in the rest of the population. The only way we will know for certain is if an independent enquiry is held. Unless it has been destroyed, all the information is there – hidden in Koeberg’s secret medical files.
When Koeberg employees start meeting one another in the oncology wards of city hospitals, people start to talk …
Mr Gcabashe, Mr Khoza: do the right thing!
The saga plays out at length in Noseweeks 53, 54 and 55. Much too much to post. But some excerpts:
He then got stuffed around badly by Eskom and Koeberg big time. Looooong story. Very nasty.
Interesting thanks. Very dodgy but to me it seems to point more to bad corporate management practices than the inherent danger of nuclear power. Sure Eskom was in the wrong but that doesn't make nuclear power automatically unsafe, just as the Enron scandal didn't make electricity unsafe.Here's the Noseweek editorial from issue 54: