Waste storage at Africa’s only nuclear plant brimming

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(Reuters) – Spent fuel storage at South Africa’s Koeberg nuclear plant will reach full capacity by April as state power utility Eskom awaits regulatory approval for new dry storage casks, the company said on Monday.

Storage of high-level radioactive waste is a major environmental concern in the region, as South Africa looks to extend Koeberg’s life for another two decades and mulls extra nuclear power plants. 

Koeberg, Africa’s only nuclear facility, is situated about 35 km (21.75 miles) from Cape Town and was connected to the grid in the 1980s under apartheid.

Koeberg produces about 32 tonnes of spent fuel a year. Fuel assemblies, which contain radioactive materials including uranium and plutonium that can remain dangerous for thousands of years, are cooled for a decade under water in spent fuel pools.

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