Energy: Mantashe punts nuclear future
By announcing that SA must plan for new nuclear power, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has put paid to hopes that the issue will remain on the back burner after a court last year halted a deal with Russia, writes Legalbrief. Mantashe announced that SA needed to start planning now for new nuclear power capacity to come online after 2045, says a Business Day report. President Cyril Ramaphosa put nuclear expansion on hold after taking office in February 2018, saying a project championed by his predecessor – Jacob Zuma – was unaffordable. But senior officials in the ANC have said SA could be open to building more nuclear capacity when the economy improved. ‘Given the long-term planning horizon for nuclear power plants, it is imperative that the planning work for the new nuclear power plants should commence now,’ Mantashe said. He said it is crucial for SA to plan for additional nuclear capacity beyond 2045 and a project was under way to extend the life of Koeberg by 20 years ‘from the end of its designed life in 2024’. ‘Koeberg demonstrates the benefits of nuclear power and gives reason to SA continuing with the nuclear expansion programme,’ Mantashe added.
(EGSA Ed. note: Oh no, here we go again!)