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Africa|Building|Energy|Nuclear|Power|Resources|Power Generation
Africa|Building|Energy|Nuclear|Power|Resources|Power Generation
africa|building|energy|nuclear|power|resources|power-generation

Outa notes with concern Nersa subcommittee’s recommendation to approve new nuclear capacity

20th August 2021

By: Donna Slater

Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

     

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The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) reports with “extreme concern” that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) electricity subcommittee has conditionally indicated approval, on August 20, of the government’s proposal that South Africa should build another 2 500 MW of nuclear power generation capacity.

Outa points out that the Nersa subcommittee’s decision is only a recommendation to the Nersa board, which will then take the final decision.

Nonetheless, the organisation has made a formal submission to Nersa to oppose any new nuclear capacity.

Outa Parliamentary and energy adviser Liz McDaid says the organisation is “very disappointed” with the Nersa subcommittee’s decision, which “squarely raises the problems of having an outdated energy policy”.

The organisation states that building new nuclear capacity is not affordable, nor appropriate and should therefore not be approved.

The organisation notes that Nersa was asked to approve the determination by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.

In addition, in June 2020, Mantashe issued a nonbinding request for information on building 2 500 MW of new nuclear power.

In November 2020, Nersa announced it had received a request from Mantashe to concur with a determination (authorisation) in terms of Section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act that South Africa needs another 2 500 MW of new nuclear power. This was opposed by Outa in February this year.

In May, Outa says, Mantashe told Parliament in a written reply that if Nersa concurs with the determination, the department intends to complete the procurement of 2 500 MW of nuclear new build by 2024.

More recently, Outa says, Nersa’s subcommittee recommended a conditional approval with suspensive conditions, citing concerns over affordability.

Outa intends to wait for Nersa’s full board decision and the reasons for decision before deciding on its next steps.

“The South African government has a history of making, or attempting to make, decisions in favour of hugely-expensive nuclear builds in deals which seem suspiciously linked to corruption rather than the needs of the country,” Outa says in a statement.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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