Eskom ensures it can withstand a magnitude 7 earthquake

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Eskom has sought to allay fears over safety concerns at its Koeberg Nuclear Power Station following a 3.4 magnitude earth tremor that rattled Cape Town. It originated off the Saldanha Bay coast.

The power utility says the plant which is located near Melkbosstrand is designed to withstand a magnitude seven earthquake. It further notes that both nuclear reactors at Koeberg are built on seismic bearings, which act as shock-absorbers reducing the transferal of ground movement to the plant’s structure.

Credit: Wintech

According to Eskom the plant operated as normal during the tremor, with only a minor spike in vibrations on the turbine-driven feedwater pumps. The Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute and the Koeberg Alert Alliance had expressed concern about the increase in seismic activity on the Milnerton fault line. It believes that it should be major cause for alarm around the risks to the nuclear plant, especially since Eskom plans to extend its life by another 20 years.

Since September the Cape has experienced at least three tremors.

Header image: The South African

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October 27, 2021
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