The PBMR project continues to work its way through the legal appeals processes that have slowed its development considerably. However, it keeps winning those appeals, with the most recent victory occurring when Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk’s dismissed Earthlife Africa’s appeal of a June 2003 RoD (Record of Decision).
IOL.co.za published a story about the legal process under the title Pebble bed fuel gets nod. According to the article there were several aspects of the application that formed the basis for the appeal, including a concern about graphite fires and the overall efforts to minimize environmental impact. Here is what van Schalkwyk said in support of his denial of the appeal:
Referring to concerns about graphite fires, Van Schalkwyk said the nuclear energy corporation had said there were “no feasible scenarios for such an occurrence”.
“Adequate measures are in place to ensure that safety and health aspects are sufficiently catered for through the various phases of project evaluation and approval.
“Negative environmental impacts … can be sufficiently mitigated, provided the conditions contained in this record of decision are implemented and adhered to.”