Yelland questions Eskom’s ‘vehement defence’ of Areva | Fin24
 
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Yelland questions Eskom’s ‘vehement defence’ of Areva

May 30 2016 11:23

Cape Town – Energy expert Chris Yelland on Monday questioned Eskom’s “vehement” defence of Areva amid a court battle over Koeberg nuclear power station’s steam generator replacement tender with Westinghouse.

“Eskom unashamedly maintains its view that … it appointed a bidder which had demonstrated overall value to Eskom and the country and that this was and still remains in the public interest,” Matshela Koko, Eskom’s group executive for generation, said in response to a story by EE Publishers assistant editor Aimee Clarke.

FULL STORY: Eskom defends Koeberg tender, lashes out at Westinghouse

She wrote: “While Eskom and Areva appealed to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) that the award of the … was both lawful and indeed essential for nuclear safety, losing bidder Westinghouse Belgium appealed to the ConCourt to be substituted as the successful bidder in place of Areva.

“What was unfair about it? In a nutshell – according to Westinghouse and accepted by the SCA (Supreme Court of Appeal) – Eskom had changed the rules of the game at half-time (see background article here). In making its decision to award the tender to Areva, Eskom had taken into account various additional so-called ‘strategic considerations’, which were not explicitly stated in the original bid award criteria.”

FULL STORY: Eskom – changing the goalposts and rules of the game at half-time?

However, Koko said this complaint was unfounded. “When the matter was argued before the high court, Eskom took the court through the tender evaluation criteria and demonstrated that the strategic considerations were always included therein,” he said.
 
However, Yelland, investigative editor at EE Publishers, said it should be noted that the SCA found that Eskom's contract with Areva was invalid and unlawful, and ordered that it be set aside.

“Of course, in appealing to the ConCourt, Eskom vehemently defended its contract with Areva, as … Koko does again (above) in responding to EE Publisher's article on the subject.

“Eskom's affidavit to the ConCourt went so far as to slam the unsuccessful bidder, Westinghouse, for (being) disrespecting of Eskom's ‘culture of nuclear safety’, and stated also that Westinghouse had demonstrated a ‘cavalier attitude toward nuclear safety’.

“However, what Mr Koko does not explain is how its vehement defence of the contract with its preferred bidder, Areva, squares with the widely reported quality and safety lapses of Areva as Eskom's appointed contractor to replace the six steam generators at its Koeberg nuclear power station.

“The following references on this are:

1. Widely reported manufacturing and quality issues at Areva’s forging facility: "Areva reviewing quality control at Creusot forge" - by Robert Brooks, Forging Magazine, 28 April 2015.

2. Recent findings by French nuclear regulator, ASN: "Irregularities found in Areva-made components in French nuclear plants - ASN" - by Geert De Clercq and Mark Heinrich, Reuters, Paris, 3 May 2016.

3. Widely reported quality lapses relating to defective Areva-made nuclear power plant components dating back decades: "France's nuclear giant Areva admits to '400 irregularities' in power plant parts" - by Henry Samuel, The Telegraph, Paris, 4 May 2016.”

areva  |  koeberg  |  eskom  |  nuclear energy
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