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milo124

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #25 on: Jan 03, 2009, 02:12 »
So what's the latest on this?  I received an email but only because they may need additional names in case some of the first 10 get cold feet.  I still have questions so if anyone has decided to go (and have some recent info) please post it (or send me an email).  Thanks.

Offline Laundry Man

Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #26 on: Jan 05, 2009, 08:46 »
Years ago I was going over with NSS the first time US Techs went.  Well it seems NSS over booked the number of Techs in case someone backed out.  I was one of the overbooked Techs and didn't get to go.  I was pretty pissed after all that paperwork, work permits, international drivers license etc.  Good thing I hadn't backed out of the IP2 outage or I wouldn't have worked that fall.  Just be careful with this one.
LM

Offline let-it-ride

Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #27 on: Jan 05, 2009, 11:17 »
I talked to two people from the site today. They asked a few questions, like how old are you, how long in the biz, and can you work shifts. They also asked if I was an 3.1, have I ever took the Core and NU tests. They wanted to know if I was available by the end of the month.  That was about it. Call lasted just a few minutes.
I'll see what happens now.

alphadude

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #28 on: Jan 05, 2009, 01:22 »
I know techs are not used to asking the hard questions but you need too ask these:

How much funding for rent a techs is in the present budget?
When will the budget be approved for technician allocation?
When will funding be available for technician allocation?
How long will the budget allocation be for? (this year and next?)
Is this an emergent work situation or standard operational support  (infrastructure)?
When the funding is allocated is it protected for the duration of the workforce supplement?

Those are the questions to ask. The housing, per diam, work hours etc are small change questions.


South_African

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #29 on: Jan 06, 2009, 12:00 »
Having worked at Koeberg in RP I will try answer someof your questions:

In SA we use the SI units having converted from the good old Rem, a few years ago. So its all Sieverts, and mostky micro Sieverts, and Bq/cm2 etc. All ver onfusing units if you are use to the old units.

SA companies do not generally pay per diem!! It may be factored into your hourly rate, and they may offer you a special deal, but I have never heard anyone at Koeberg being paid per diem. Its an unknown concept here.

The NEU exams etc mean nothing here. However if you can pass the NEU exams then you will have a good understanding of the Koeberg ways. The US systems and what we do in SA are very similar. The signposting etc is however completely different.

SA is mostly safe. The same as in any country if you stay out of the bad areas you will be ok.

I do however find it strange that a SA company is recruiting people form overseas when there are people such as myself available. This is typical of Eskom who will rather spend a lot of money on overseas people than people from their own country. Having done 30 outages at Koeberg I was not approached. I have sent my resume to DI, but have not heard anything. Good luck to the rest of you.

If there are any questions I can answer let me know. I start on Monday at Koeberg, working the outage.

milo124

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #30 on: Jan 06, 2009, 12:40 »
Hello South Africa,

What's the average total dose/exposure for a RP tech working an outage at Koeberg?

South_African

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #31 on: Jan 06, 2009, 01:04 »
I don't have figures, but its fairly 'low'. I reckon at most you would probably end up with a 100mrem. Just depends which jobs you end up with.

South_African

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #32 on: Jan 06, 2009, 01:17 »
To add to the last reply that 100mrem was for an outage. For a year maybe 300 to 400mrem. Again it really depends on the work you get. However the plant is fairly clean, and they do try to keep doses ALARA.


Offline techtoolong

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #33 on: Jan 07, 2009, 11:42 »
Anyone get any answers about taxes, social security taxes and FICA deductions ?  This may not be lucrative if you have to pay your own.  I do not think it is tax exempt.  I have a call into a CPA.  I think you may have to pay SA taxes and still owe SS and FICA without employer match.  This makes this less pay than USA a lot less.

South_African

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #34 on: Jan 07, 2009, 01:16 »
It also depends where you get paid. Are you going to get paid in the USA? When I work in the UK, I get paid in the UK as I have a UK bank account. I do however pay National Insurance and taxes in the UK.

So are you going to open SA bank accounts and get paid in Rands? Or are you getting paid in dollars into a USA bank account? Either way you will be liable for taxes on one country. I have a feeling that you will pay taxes in SA. However I may be wrong. It's definetly worth checking as it will definetly affect your earnings.

Also are you getting per diem? What are the tax implications? In SA we are not generally familiar with per diem, so it may not be as tax free as you people are used to in the USA.

I don't have the answers for you, but you guys really need to look at it. Also remember the cost of living in SA is generally higher than in the USA. If you need to hire a car to get around, which you will need to do, then that is an extra cost. Petrol (gas) is also more expensive - paid by the liter.



« Last Edit: Jan 07, 2009, 01:22 by South African »

Offline let-it-ride

Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #35 on: Jan 07, 2009, 01:26 »
The agent told me we will have to pay SA taxes, but not US taxes. He didn't say if the diem will be taxed. As far as cost of living. He said almost everything is at least 1/3 cheaper than the US. Gas is higher, around $8 a gal. Pay will be Rands. I think a Rand to dollar is 9.6 to 10 SAR =$1.00. (last time I checked) Health insurance is not provided, would have to find your own.
I was picked to go, but........

South_African

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #36 on: Jan 07, 2009, 01:58 »
To be honest I would check. I would not believe what the agents tells you. They are after all getting quite a big fee for recruiting you. If the information they provide is incorrect, you have no come back to them. They are only a recruiting agent.

The cost of living is definetly higher is SA. I have worked in the UK and have been to Texas twice. And I can assure you what you can buy with an hours pay in the UK and the USA is far more than you can buy in SA.

The price of gas has just come down again. You are looking at about 3 to 4 dollars a gallon at the moment.

However remember at least 35 to 40% will go to tax! Also your per diem might also be taxed.

Health insurance is best covered with travel insurance, which is what I do when I am overseas. That covers the really big costs of hospilisation etc. If you get sick and its not too seriuos you can pay for a doctor.

So really look into it before you take up the job. As I said I do not have the answers, but suggest you be cautious about what you are promised.


Offline techtoolong

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #37 on: Jan 08, 2009, 03:01 »
Anyone out there going to this for sure ?

Offline techtoolong

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #38 on: Jan 10, 2009, 10:34 »
Hello,  Am I the only going ??

Offline UncaBuffalo

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #39 on: Jan 10, 2009, 11:42 »
The agent told me we will have to pay SA taxes, but not US taxes. He didn't say if the diem will be taxed. As far as cost of living. He said almost everything is at least 1/3 cheaper than the US. Gas is higher, around $8 a gal. Pay will be Rands. I think a Rand to dollar is 9.6 to 10 SAR =$1.00. (last time I checked) Health insurance is not provided, would have to find your own.
I was picked to go, but........

Run this past your tax guru before you take it on faith.  The way I understand it, you have to establish residency in a foreign country (or countries) and be out of the USA for a certain number of days (330?) during the tax year before any foreign earnings become tax-free...but I have no personal experience with it, so...
The days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days. -Ray Wylie Hubbard

jowlman

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #40 on: Jan 11, 2009, 10:34 »
Well I've been made an offer, but have not made my travel plans as of yet. Due to previous commitments, I won't be going until February. If I decide to go. I haven't been on here in a few days and some good questions have been raised. One thing I have not seen mentioned that I asked, per diem is not 7 days/week, it is only paid on days worked. That will also effect the bottom line.

Offline techtoolong

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #41 on: Jan 11, 2009, 10:40 »
Jowlman ,  Are they going to let you come later ?

Offline techtoolong

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #42 on: Jan 11, 2009, 10:58 »
I have spent a lot of time on the internet and phone about the taxes.  I spoke to a CPA, the IRS, my state and the social security office.  According to Bernard you will be paying local taxes.  The rate is about 40 % this credits towards federal taxes only.  My state has a safe harbour law.  if I am out of state more than 335 days I do not owe them.  Keep in mind you will not have any income for these quarters for unemployment.  Last but not least social security and medicare.  If you are out of the country and not self employed and your employer has no USA affiliates you do not owe social security and medicare taxes. Check your state.  Some of them have no exemption and you will owe them.

jowlman

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #43 on: Jan 12, 2009, 01:31 »
Yes they told me that I could report in February. I still have not made up my mind. I do think that it will be a good opportunity if not financially just for the experience.

Offline zammis

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #44 on: Jan 15, 2009, 01:45 »
I heard from Bernard today saying there may be one position left at Koeberg. I answered his questionable questions ( marital status, work "style " etc. ) and have yet to pose some questions of my own. Is anyone actually going ? Cutting myself off from the unemployment for a year, ticking Bartlett off by breaking commitments and paying hefty SA taxes may not make this job worthwhile. The adventure's the big draw for me. If any of you guys are going....please write or post, I'll be watching.

South_African

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #45 on: Jan 15, 2009, 04:27 »
What is interesting is that I am a South African, and more than qualified for the job, and have also applied, but they are not interested in us? So they have vacancies but are not taking SA people. How would you feel if we took your jobs away, and they paid us more than what you were getting? Which is the case at the moment. I know this sounds like sour grapes, but it sucks!!

But I do wish you all good luck, and if there is anything I can help you with, as far as information is concerned let me know. Coming to SA is a lot different that the USA. It is however a great country, but I would make sure that I really do my homework before I commit to working here.

So good luck, and maybe I will see you in SA soon.



milo124

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #46 on: Jan 16, 2009, 11:15 »
Quote
I know this sounds like sour grapes, but it sucks!!
You're right...that does suck!  I've never been to South Africa and it would probably be a great way to see the country, but from what I've seen so far (financially) it doesn't make much sense.  By the way, I have seen a few gripes posted on the boards that involved HPs from other countries coming into the US for outage work - so it goes both ways.  Anyways,  thanks for the info and good luck to you too.

Offline techtoolong

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #47 on: Jan 17, 2009, 07:59 »
You are so right.  We all know what it is like to be laid off all summer while other people work to maintain their visas.  It happens here all the time.  Has anyone actually been told to buy a plane ticket for this ? 
« Last Edit: Jan 19, 2009, 02:07 by techtoolong »

South_African

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Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #48 on: Jan 29, 2009, 10:23 »
For those who were interested in working in South Africa at Koeberg, by now I am sure you must have gathered that this work has little or no chance of taking place. It seems that the left hand at Koeberg doesn't know what the right hand is doing, and I doubt this work will take place as there is not budget for it.

I am not 100% sure this will not take place, but about 99.9%.....so wait around at your own risk.

Offline HydroDave63

Re: Koeberg Nuclear Power Station - South Africa
« Reply #49 on: Jan 29, 2009, 10:44 »
It seems that the left hand at Koeberg doesn't know what the right hand is doing, and I doubt this work will take place as there is not budget for it.


Exactly. Some of the most productive platinum mines on the planet are now idle in ZA due to no money for transmission line repairs

 


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