No decision yet on radioactive storage facility

Home National No decision yet on radioactive storage facility
No decision yet on radioactive storage facility

SWAKOPMUND – The Swakopmund municipality has acknowledged the growing concerns of residents regarding  plans for a radioactive material storage and handling facility in the coastal town’s general industrial area.

The notice for objection, submitted by Stewart Planning Town and Regional Planners, has sparked community outcry, prompting the municipality to assure residents that their objections will be carefully considered during upcoming council deliberations.

The proposed facility, spearheaded by Namaquanum Investment, aims to refurbish an existing workshop in the industrial area and construct an aboveground storage facility for radioactive source material used in offshore oil exploration equipment calibration and testing. 

The proponents assure that the facility will adhere to stringent safety specifications.

Municipality spokesperson, Linda Mupupa said the municipality values transparency and community involvement in decision-making processes, especially when it comes to matters as critical as the potential risks associated with radioactive material.

“No final decisions have been made as the matter is yet to be discussed. The council is committed to a transparent and inclusive process,” she explained in a statement on Friday.

The residents’ concerns range from potential health hazards to environmental risks, with worries about the storage of materials such as explosives, gases, flammable liquids, and solids, oxidizing substances, and toxic matter in close proximity to residential areas.

Swakopmund resident Louise Engelbrecht started an online petition which has gathered over 1 800 signatures opposing the project.

Engelbrecht urged authorities to prioritise public safety over industrial interests and called for a halt to the construction of the proposed facility.

Engelbrecht also urged residents to participate in the decision-making process by submitting their written comments, representations, and objections to the council and Stewart Planning before or on Friday.

Meanwhile, a statement regarding the proposed project is yet to be released.