The future of Eskom’s Koeberg facility remains uncertain, as the nuclear plant continues to battle with extended outages and ongoing maintenance issues. However, a problem of increased severity has started to rear its head.
Koeberg losing ‘experienced workers’, creating a nuclear nightmare
Skilled workers and experienced members of staff, many of whom held significant technical positions at Koeberg, have quit their roles to take on work abroad instead. This tidal wave of resignations was highlighted by Jan Oberholzer, the current COO of Eskom – and he has labelled the trend as ‘horrifying’.
Unpacking the grim reality of the power utility’s multiple issues, Oberholzer told those in attendance at the State of the System briefing that the nuclear plant has lost YEARS of experience in its senior skilled workers, and pointed to the alarming fact that some technicians are happy to jack it in ‘even if they have no offers on the table’:
“I attended a meeting with maintenance at Koeberg, and I was horrified when they told me how many colleagues we have lost, taking away so many years of experience.”
“What was alarming for me is that these experts are happy to resign with no other offers on the table, and months later, they go to Europe or the Middle East. So the issue of loss of skills and experience is a significant one for Eskom.”
Eskom shaken by loss of experience
Anton Eberhard is an energy policy specialist, and he has echoed the COO’s bleak assessment of things, branding the exodus of skilled workers as ‘scary’. Eberhard is also fearful that a lack of experienced technicians at a nuclear plant, so close to the City of Cape Town, could have disastrous consequences.
“Jan Oberholzer speaking on the loss of skills at Koeberg is scary, and Capetonians won’t be sleeping well. The nuclear power plant is only 30km up the coast.” | Anton Eberhard
You can view the clip of Jan Oberholzer speaking at staff losses at Koeberg here
.@Eskom_SA‘s COO Jan Oberholzer speaking today on the loss of skills at Koeberg.
Scary. Capetonians won’t be sleeping well.
The nuclear power plant is only 30km up the coast. pic.twitter.com/oKDI835M92
— Anton Eberhard (@AntonEberhard) October 25, 2021