Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has informed the 64th session of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), via a video recording, that SA had started consultations with nuclear power reactor vendors to obtain information about costs, schedules and possible ownership models. An Engineering News report notes that this was in line with the country’s Integrated Resource Plan 2019-2030 and the result of a request for information (RfI) issued in June.
(EGSA Ed Note: Mr Mantashe never gives up on nuclear in spite of its high cost, un-insurability, budget overruns everywhere, time line overruns, etc.)
This RfI was based on an assumption of a programme for 2 500MW of nuclear power. He reaffirmed that nuclear would retain a ‘vital role’ in the country’s energy mix. He pointed out that there was a ‘bigger role’ for nuclear in transitioning SA from high carbon-emission energy sources to low carbon-emission ones, while simultaneously expanding the country’s energy supply. ‘We need to contest the space in the energy debate, for nuclear as a clean energy technology,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy group Rosatom signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (Afcone) last week. An Engineering News report notes that the MoU, signed simultaneously in Pretoria and Moscow, provides for co-operation between the two organisations in the peace uses of nuclear energy. The MoU establishes the basis for Rosatom and Afcone to cooperate in assisting African countries in implementing nuclear energy projects. It also covers the diversification of African States’ energy sources (including the use of renewable energy) and increasing their energy security. The MoU is regarded by the two parties as being a practical step in the implementation of agreements signed at the Russia-Africa Summit which took place in late October last year.