Cape Town - About 250
employees of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor company (PBMR) have already
resigned and many of them are moving overseas, Solidarity trade union
spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said in response to enquiry on Tuesday.
On Wednesday the unions
will hold another meeting with the PBMR management, in terms of the process
prescribed in Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.
It has been reliably
ascertained that only about 40 people will ultimately remain at the company.
Kleynhans said that
Solidarity had already approached Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan to
intervene to prevent scarce nuclear power skills being lost to South Africa.
There is a crisis because time is running out.
proposal was that entities like Eskom, the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South
Africa and the National Energy Regulator should work closely together to retain
skills, but no one is taking the lead, said Kleynhans.
Every day more workers
are resigning and being taken up elsewhere - mainly overseas. Many are going to
the US, which is building two new nuclear power stations.
Stratek consultant Dr
Kelvin Kemm said government’s decision to scale down the PBMR project was premature. As for criticism that the project was too expensive, Kemm says this
should be seen in perspective.
The cost of the entire
PBMR project to date is about 5% of that of one of the new coal-fired power
stations, or 70% of the expenditure on the stadiums for the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer
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