Is the government prepared to prevent a nuclear disaster?

So, after the recent earthquakes we had here in Cpt, we felt 3, one the Sat and 2 the Sun … this paragraph jumped out at me:
“If you had asked the people running Chernobyl and Fukushima if their nuclear plants were safe, the day before those disasters, they would have of course said yes. So Eskom now telling us that Koeberg is safe from earthquakes, is not reassuring. The risk to nuclear plants comes from unexpected events, such as an unexpectedly powerful earthquake," says Koeberg Alert Alliance’s Peter Becker.

What is very interesting is that Koeberg was one of the first nuclear power stations designed to be specifically resistant to earthquakes.
It can withstand a magnitude 7 earthquake at a 10 km distance.

So you should be fine… until tomorrow that is :smiley:


Koeberg is built on a seismic slab. It’s apparently designed to withstand a level-7 earthquake. Fukishima (apparently) was instead built on bedrock, also in an effort to make it withstand seismic activity. Interesting difference.

But just about every nuclear disaster was due to some other problem, either a design fault (Diesel backup in the way of a Tsunami, running the control system from the same power plant you’re controlling) or a human fault (pulling all the rods in an effort to increase power and poisoning the reactor, not noticing coolant is going missing, etc), and more often, a combination of the two.

So in that sense, Koeberg too is always at risk of some disaster. Hopefully one of the magnitude of Three Mile Island and not one like Chernobyl.


there is not much to be done when Homer Simpson is in the control room…

Tongue removed from cheek: I am less concerned about the big events than the little oopsies that potentially lead to big bang. Looks like it is is no longer on netflix (but might be on amazon) but a docie titled “command and control” had as first domino a dropped socket that nearly lead to a major incident at a missile silo in the US (no, not the university).

Regardless of who is running it I am still happy not having koeberg in my back yard, though. I remember when still somewhat younger than today on the highveld, sometimes casting a nervous eye in the direction of the magaliesberg looking for signs of the much rumoured Pelindaba/Valindaba having a mishap.

Must say, if Koeberg does have a major disaster, and like Plonk suggests, it would be a chain of events causing that, what can one do bar drive and drive fast … towards Pelindaba/Valindaba. :laughing:

that would be my first instinct… but these days you will likely find a great number of darwin award finalists rushing toward a smoke plume over koeberg so that they can get some footage on their cell phones for youtube/facebook/etc. :roll_eyes:

1 Like

I spat a mounthfull of coffee over my desk when I read that!!! :laughing:
Picturing the shouting and traffic jams … posing for pics!

If it’s a Chernobyl style failure (which I think is unlikely), and you are lucky enough to be ahead of it all, then getting away from it would be the way to go. It will depend on the direction of the wind, in other words east-ward isn’t necessarily the only option, nor would you necessarily be safe just because you’re a 1000km away. Remember that after Chernobyl, radioactive material was deposited hundreds of kilometers away.

If it is a 3-mile-island or even Fukushima level thing, then the long term radiation is the more dangerous part. The risk of sticking it out a week or so, and then packing up would be minimal. People as far out as me (more than 50km) may not even have to bother.

It all depends on, as you also say Plonk:

  1. the wind, strenght and direction, which changes all the time in Cpt,
  2. the level of the disaster,
  3. the amount of radiation that is going into the air/sea,
  4. containment of the nuclear falloout then and on a ongoing basis thereafter.

Bottom line: It is a clusterf…ck if that happens in a city, ANY city.

All the above would determine where and when who goes when, how and by when.


  • Fukushima radiation that is leaking into the ocean is alledgedly being measured more and more on the Californian coastline.
  • The conainers they are using to keep the radioactive water stored in, have starting to leak.
  • They are running out of space to store the radioactive water.
    Proposals have been made/presented to dump it all into the acean, as per an article I skipread a while ago.

So… who needs a copy of the latest Fallout game to keep them busy in the “waiting it out” period :slight_smile:

The next question should be how will you build a bunker in your back yard with all that sand in the Cape Town area?

What sand? We have good solid clay. :smile:
Bunkers are for the Advance Expert Level “gamers”, or shall we use the word … Preppers. :laughing:

Because going bunker level goes down so many paths like clean air, water source, sewage removal, food stocks … depending on how long you want to stay under.

For a couple of million dollars in the USA, they sell you a bunker suite (some even a entire floor, inside a recycled nuke launch site, with clean air, security, unlimitted water, food for years, bides instead of toilet paper, a heated pool, shooting range, hydorphonics in the basement, movie theatre, school … :vb-cool2:

Oh fun! I actually spent a little time last Sunday to start playing Fallout 4 again. I don’t think it is a bad future at all. Seems quite fun! Though, not much for the ghouls and raiders I end up shooting…

1 Like

I actually dusted off some old games at the start of lockdown.
RA2 and one of my all time favorite

I must confess I have actually not played any Fallout game myself :frowning:

Meh. Its only Cape Town. Those guys are already quite weird. No one will even notice if they start glowing green, or growing extra eyes…

:vb-cyclops: :vb-lol:


Once I’ve become Pressi, and I’ve built the wall around the Cape Town, installed that turbine in the tunnel, I will be keeping a lookout for those who think we are weird … (I’m watching you … ) :vb-rofl:

This sounds vaguely familiar… Is it not almost election time somewhere in the world? :vb-lol:

1 Like

Not sure if it is legal to remove sand from the beach… so first step will likely be some version of …


EDIT: stop GIF looping

1 Like