IAEA involved in SA nuclear security

2011-06-09 21:14

Pretoria - Interventions over security concerns at the Pelindaba nuclear facility called for by the DA, had already taken place more than three years ago, the SA Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) said on Thursday.

Necsa chief executive Rob Adam issued a statement on Thursday after Democratic Alliance spokesperson Pieter Van Dalen said on Wednesday he had written to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure that South Africa's stock of weapons grade uranium was securely stored.

In a statement, Van Dalen cited a November 2007 security breach when four men penetrated the Pelindaba facility and the Pretoria arrest of seven men attempting to sell nuclear material. One person was shot and wounded in the 2007 incident.

Adam said: "Necsa itself informed the IAEA in writing immediately after the [2007] incident and requested IAEA assistance in evaluating site security at Pelindaba."

He said that an IAEA team had visited Pelindaba and subsequently pronounced itself satisfied with security arrangements.

"It is worth noting that the intervention requested by Mr Van Dalen already took place three-and-a-half years ago, and that Mr Van Dalen is aware of this fact."

He said the case was in the hands of the South African Police Service, but to date no one had been tried for the armed robbery.

Referring to the 2010 attempt to sell low grade nuclear material, he said that Necsa had been "called by the SAPS to the crime scene to ascertain radiation safety and to take custody of the radioactive source. The radioactive source did not belong to Necsa."

Asked if weapons grade material was being stored at Pelindaba and for what purposes it was being used, he said: "Necsa uses enriched uranium of various grades for radioisotope production and for research purposes, in terms of its statutory mandate."

He said that South Africa had signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1991 and it abides by the treaty.

He said that all nuclear material in South Africa was declared to the IAEA according to the requirements of the treaty. The IAEA also held inspections on a regular basis.

Comment could not be obtained from the department of energy.

Read more on:    da  |  necsa  |  iaea  |  security  |  nuclear

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.