Home South African Chief nuclear officer at Eskom quits after 27 years

Chief nuclear officer at Eskom quits after 27 years

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Riedewaan Barkadien will be departing on July 31 to join a Canadian nuclear utility in an executive position.

Aerial of Koeberg power station. Image, Bruce Sutherland, City of Cape Town.

ESKOM’S chief nuclear officer Riedewaan Barkadien has tendered his resignation after 27 years in the service amid a further one-month delay at the Koeberg Unit 2 which was taken off the grid at the beginning of the year.

The struggling power utility announced on Monday that Barkadien will be departing from Eskom on July 31 to join a Canadian nuclear utility in an executive position.

Barkadien, who is serving his notice period after resigning earlier this year, said the decision to leave Eskom after serving for so long did not come easy.

“As the only nuclear power station in Africa, we have all played a role in keeping the plant safe, and the best place to work,” he said.

“The decision to resign was, therefore, by no means an easy decision.”

Eskom announced that Keith Featherstone, a long-standing nuclear executive with over 30 years of nuclear experience, will be acting in the chief nuclear officer role while the recruitment process is underway.

Featherstone is also the previous general manager of the Koeberg Power Station.

Eskom’s chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said Koeberg Unit 2 will be returned at the end of the month, but it will take up to 10 days to ramp up to full capacity.

Koeberg is expected to add 920MW to the grid and play a major role in bringing enhanced stability to the power supply.

Oberholzer said their intent was to fill both the Koeberg Power Station general manager and the chief nuclear officer positions as soon as possible.

“I wish to assure the people of South Africa and fellow Guardians at Eskom that the organisation has access to a sufficiently experienced and competent executive team to continue ensuring a safe and smooth operation at Africa’s only nuclear power station,” Oberholzer said.

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