An small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – commonly known as drones – has crashed into the nuclear power station at Koeberg near Cape Town.
While it appears that no damage was done, South Africa’s drone regulations are clear: you are not allowed to fly drones over roads and you keep them at least 50 meters away from buildings.
According to Eskom, the drone not only flew towards and over Koeberg, but crashed into a building on site. Surprisingly, Eskom says that the drone pilot had his UAV returned to him after the incident.
“A drone crashed on the Koeberg site in contravention of the nuclear safety regulations and was returned to its owner without the investigation having been completed,” the parastatal said in a statement.
Eskom says that it has subsequently suspended the Koeberg safety officer as a precautionary measure ahead of an investigation. It also highlighted the dangers of flying drones close to government installations.
“The matter has also been reported to the SAPS as Koeberg is a National Key Point,” it said.
Eskom also revealed yesterday that it has suspended the Koeberg power station manager and the plant manager for an unrelated incident.
“Eskom has placed the Koeberg power station manager and the plant manager on precautionary suspension as a result of the distribution of documentation containing unauthorised facts and assumptions relating to Koeberg’s Production Plan and in particular, the steam generator replacement,” it said.
Eskom is this week facing strike action by 15 000 National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members. In essence, it is illegal for any Eskom employees to strike, and NUM is protesting this.
“The decision to strike was taken at an urgent NUM Eskom national shop stewards council held at the NUM head office today. All 15 000 members of the NUM at Eskom will be fighting for the restoration of the right to strike at Eskom,” NUM said in a statement.[Image – CC by 2.0/Paul Scott]