Feb 08, 2013
SA to reach nuclear 'point of no return' by JuneBack
She was speaking at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (Necsa’s) Pelindaba site, west of Pretoria, following a meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) director-general Yukiya Amano, who is in South Africa as part of the agency’s infrastructure assessment mission.
Magubane said the country was progressing through the various milestones endorsed by Cabinet ahead of any nuclear decision and indicated that that government still considered the solution as central to meeting the policy objectives of supply security and reducing the country’s carbon footprint.
South Africa’s current Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for the period 2010 to 2030 envisaged the deployment of 9 600 MW of new nuclear capacity between 2023 and 2030. However, delays to the process meant that the first new nuclear capacity was unlikely to enter the system by 2023 as initially envisaged.
In addition, the IRP was due for review, with most energy-sector observers having noted that it is no longer aligned with changes in the global electricity sector, notably in the low proportion of generation capacity allocated to natural gas. In addition, the demand-growth assumptions were unlikely to be met, owing to far slower economic growth and rising power prices.
Nevertheless, Magubane indicated that a nuclear determination was likely to be published by Energy Minister Dipuo Peters in March, which would be followed by a decision on a build programme by June.
This decision would be overseen by the National Nuclear Energy Executive Coordination Committee (NNEECC), which is chaired by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
The NNEECC comprised political and technical components and included Ministers and directors-general from DoE, the National Treasury, the Department of Public Enterprises, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Environmental Affairs. Representatives from Eskom, which has been designated as the owner-operator of any new nuclear power plants, Necsa and the National Nuclear Regulator have seconded staff to its technical committees.
The DoE had commissioned consultants to interrogate the cost and financing options associated with the development, which some have estimated could involve an investment of up to R1-trillion.
Those cost projections together with the possible financing frameworks would be delivered to the NNEECC by June and would be used to inform any procurement process that could arise.
Amano, meanwhile, was in South Africa as part of an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission, through which IAEA experts had been requested to conduct an independent assessment of South Africa’s nuclear infrastructure and its readiness to pursue major new developments.
The INIR had been identified by government as a critical milestone ahead of any investment decision and/or public consultation process.
The IAEA mission followed on from a South African self-assessment report, which was completed in mid-2012 and which had been submitted to the IAEA team.
The IAEA experts, who visited South Africa between January 30 and February 8, had already compiled a preliminary report, which was handed to government at 11:00 on Friday, February 8.
The review, which is not legally binding, assessed the country’s readiness to start purchasing, constructing and operating nuclear power plants and is based on an evidence-based questionnaire covering 19 key nuclear issues, from funding and financing through to security and waste management.
Amano said South Africa was the first African country to undertake such an assessment and the first country with existing nuclear capacity to do so.
This, he argued, demonstrated South Africa’s commitment to pursuing a responsible programme in a transparent manner.
Details of possible policy, technical, regulatory, safety, security and skills gaps were not immediately divulged, but Magubane said that government was committed to making the results public once the final IAEA report became available.
Amano praised government openness, saying that it was important for the credibility of the nuclear industry for both the good and the bad news to be shared.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
To subscribe email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
To advertise email email@example.com or click here
Other Electricity News
Significant energy savings can be achieved by replacing existing oversized air compressors with correctly sized units that use power more efficiently, says compressed air products distributor Goscor.
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...