Eskom denies silencing research institutions on nuclear

Micah Reddy, Investigator at amaBhungane wrote: The lure of millions in Eskom funding appears to have muzzled two research institutions previously highly critical of the state-owned utility’s plans to procure a fleet of nuclear power stations.

In the case CSIR, it has been conducting some pretty ground-breaking research on renewable energy. And that research in short has been very critical of Eskom's view and case for nuclear.

Micah Reddy, Investigator at amaBhungane

The CSIR research basically said going towards 2050 we should be focusing on renewable energy. We should be focusing on wind and on solar. And it said we don't need nuclear.

Micah Reddy, Investigator at amaBhungane

Reddy adds that CSIR opposition to nuclear is at odds with Eskom's case for nuclear. He adds that the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) at Stellenbosch University withdrew comments it had submitted for publication that were highly critical of Eskom’s nuclear plans for fear of losing funds. CRSES is funded by Eskom.

The argument that these institutions have been silenced for fear of losing funding is quite compelling.

Micah Reddy, Investigator at amaBhungane

The CSIR was very outspoken earlier this year and now is not going on the record at all.

Micah Reddy, Investigator at amaBhungane

Reddy adds that the timing is telling as well.

Listen to the full report in the audio below:

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