The Government’s nuclear power plans: is a rational debate possible?
Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) instituted legal action against the Minister of Energy in October 2015. This legal action requests the Western Cape High Court to declare unlawful and unconstitutional all decisions taken to proceed with the procurement of new nuclear power plants. The ground for the application is the fact that such decisions had been taken in the absence of a procedurally fair public participation process and without a formal determination (as required under the Electricity Regulation Act, No. 4 of 2006 (ERA)). Such a determination must establish that not only that new generation capacity is required but also the degree to which that electricity must be generated from nuclear power. The application also points out that the Minister used an outdated assessment of electricity requirements and how to address them (as set out in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) dating back to 2010), instead of making a new determination on how much new nuclear generation capacity was required.