While engineers from French nuclear company Areva argued with trade unionists, and its representatives all but besieged key Eskom employees, Rosatom flew two South African teenagers to a resort on the coast of the Black Sea, tutored them in musical theatre and then took them on tour.
Nuclear Kids, or just NucKids, is a musical theatre group.
The children of nuclear workers were initially only from Russia’s “closed” nuclear cities, the Soviet-era sites where much of the modern Rosatom’s work is still done, but now include some from a small group of partner countries.
They are auditioned, trained by experts and celebrities, and then put on a full-blown musical.
In 2012, the group included the daughters of employees of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa, including some who worked on the nuclear reactor at Pelindaba. Another South African teenager joined the 2013 group.
Cosatu said in a statement this week: “The federation has a congress resolution emphatically rejecting nuclear power as a solution and therefore objects in principle to its use. It is alarmed at the speed at which this decision has apparently been taken, with no public discussion on such an important and controversial topic, and also the secrecy surrounding it.”
It hinted the nuclear programme could go down the same route as the multibillion-rand arms deal. “In the aftermath of the arms deal controversy, it is more important than ever that there should be total transparency so we can be certain that the Public Finance Management Act is fully adhered to.”