http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.83Change: -0.12
R/$ = 11.04Change: -0.17
Au 1172.85 $/ozChange: 3.68
Pt 1231.00 $/ozChange: -0.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Aug 24, 2012

Nuclear engineering research not sufficient

Back
Construction|Engineering|Africa|Concrete|Design|Nuclear|Safety|South African Nuclear Energy Corporation|System|Systems|Waste|Waste Management|Africa|South Africa|North-West University|Energy|Nuclear|Nuclear Energy Generation New-build Fleet|Nuclear Engineering Applications|Nuclear Medical Applications|Power Generation|Power-generation|Systems|Dawid Serfontein|Jan Hendrik Kruger|Jat|Pieter Rousseau|Power|Vishnu Naicker|Waste
Construction|Engineering|Africa|Concrete|Design|Nuclear|Safety|System|Systems|Waste|Waste Management|Africa|||Energy|Nuclear|Power Generation|Power-generation|Systems|Power|Waste
construction|engineering|africa-company|concrete|design|nuclear-company|safety|south-african-nuclear-energy-corporation|system|systems-company|waste-company|waste-management|africa|south-africa|north-west-university-facility|energy|nuclear-industry-term|nuclear-energy-generation-new-build-fleet|nuclear-engineering-applications|nuclear-medical-applications|power-generation|power-generation-industry-term|systems|dawid-serfontein|jan-hendrik-kruger|jat|pieter-rousseau|power|vishnu-naicker|waste
© Reuse this



Although much research is being done in South Africa on nuclear medical applications, such as radioisotope production, as well as proton and neutron therapy, very little research is being conducted on nuclear engineering applications in South Africa, says North-West University (NWU) School of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering lecturer Professor Pieter Rousseau.

According to government policy, the State-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) leads and coordinates nuclear research in the country, and is supported by other institutions, such as universities.

“Unfortunately, Necsa’s budget has been progressively and significantly cut in the last few years and, therefore, I believe that not enough research is being done. In terms of universities, the research chair in nuclear engineering at NWU is currently the only entity focusing on nuclear engineering research,” he claims.

The South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) awarded the research chair in nuclear engineering to NWU for 2011 to 2015, which will enable the country to retain excellence in research and innovation in the South African science system. Rousseau notes there are factors curbing interest among scientists in nuclear engineering research.

The biggest is government’s delay in making a final decision to proceed with the procurement of the nuclear energy generation new-build fleet, as envisaged in the Department of Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan 2010 (IRP 2010).

He believes that, once a concrete new-build programme has been announced and gets under way, the country should expect to see greater interest from students and other tertiary institutions in nuclear engineering-related qualifications and research.

The problem, therefore, is not government’s policy uncertainty, but rather the uncertainty about government’s ability to implement the policy, states Rousseau.

Research Chair
Meanwhile, Rousseau says the SARChI research chair at the NWU, which is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), aims to increase the level of excellence in research areas of national and international importance.

“The DST establishes the research chairs, with a recognised research leader in the position of chair. The department provides funding in cycles of five years, based on an approved research plan and budget,” he states.

The NWU nuclear engineering research group comprises several permanent faculty members and about 20 postgraduate students, many of whom are from previously disadvantaged groups. The faculty members include Rousseau, who is the chair, Professor Jat du Toit, Dr Vishnu Naicker, Dr Jan Hendrik Kruger and Dr Dawid Serfontein.

Rousseau notes that the appointment of a research chair and the approval of the chair’s research plan undergoes a strict peer-review process, which includes local and international leaders in the specific research field. The contributions of each chair are also closely monitored on a yearly basis and are also peer-reviewed.

Further, he says the research group and the chair work in support of South Africa’s Nuclear Energy Policy, which outlines a vision to become globally competitive through the use of innovative technology for the design, manufacture and deployment of high-tech nuclear energy systems, power reactors and the nuclear fuel cycle. The IRP 2010 outlines government’s plans for nuclear power to contribute 9.6 GW of the planned 40.3 GW of new electricity generation capacity to be constructed by 2030.

Rousseau says the main challenge in bringing nuclear power generation on line is whether or not government can commit and successfully manage the procurement process within a reasonable time.

Other challenges are obtaining sufficient funding, lengthy construction lead times and achieving localisation goals, as well as managing the negative public perceptions about nuclear safety and waste management.

Nuclear Technologies
Rousseau says Generation Four reactor technologies are at the forefront of nuclear power research.

“Generation Four reactors provide significant advantages with regard to sustainability, such as uranium resource use and waste reduction, safety and reliability, as well as proliferation resistance,” he states.

The research done by the NWU research group supports the development and improvement of the existing Generation Three systems and specific Generation Four reactor concepts.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Electricity News
Rosatom VP: sub-Saharan Africa Viktor Polikarpov
Russian nuclear energy group Rosatom confirmed on Friday that it had canvassed funding options with South African government officials during a recent “nuclear vendor parade workshop” held in the Drakensberg on October 23. The company said the options discussed were...
Energy utility Eskom and the South African Local Government Association (Salga) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at fostering an active partnership to ensure a cooperative and collaborative working relationship. The MoU, which was signed by Salga...
Financial agreement for Ghanian independent power producer (IPP) Cenpower Generation Company’s $900-million, 350 MW combined-cycle gas-turbine power plant was finalised earlier this month, paving the way for the project’s construction to begin before 2015 in Tema,...
More
 
 
Latest News
The retail price of 95-grade petrol in South Africa will drop by 45 cents or 3.3 percent a liter from next Wednesday, while wholesale diesel will decrease by 4.9 percent, the government said on Friday. Petrol will cost 13.16 rand ($1.20) a liter while the wholesale...
Special purpose vehicle GreenCape will, by the end of 2014, make an application to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Western Cape provincial government and the City of Cape Town to declare Atlantis, on the Western seaboard, a special economic zone...
The German government has committed a further R70-million towards the second phase of the Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) programme. The NMT programme forms part of the Department of Environmental Affairs’ 2010 FIFA World Cup National Greening Legacy Programme.
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
In the next 20 years, it was expected that, in Africa, more people would live in cities and towns than in rural areas, United Nations Habitat executive director Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira said at the Human Settlements Indaba that took place earlier this month in...
Tough-talking Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has committed government to building 1.5-million low-cost houses over the next five years, telling the Human Settlements Indaba in Johannesburg on Wednesday that the State would achieve this target through the...
Over the past 20 years there has been persistent concern about deindustrialisation in South Africa, as well as the fact that locally produced manufactured products have been increasingly displaced by imports.
Financial agreement for Ghanian independent power producer (IPP) Cenpower Generation Company’s $900-million, 350 MW combined-cycle gas-turbine power plant was finalised earlier this month, paving the way for the project’s construction to begin before 2015 in Tema,...
The revenue implications for South Africa of ‘base erosion and profit shifting’ by corporate taxpayers are firmly in the crosshairs of the Davis Tax Committee (DTC) and Judge Dennis Davis hinted last week that recommendations were being considered to “detect and...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks