Cabinet has approved the setting up of the multi-purpose nuclear reactor project to replace the current SAFARI-1 nuclear research reactor, owned by the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa).
The research reactor, located at Pelindaba, west of Pretoria, is a leading global producer of medical radioisotopes used to treat cancer.
SAFARI-1 has been in operation since 1965 and is scheduled for decommissioning in 2030.
It was reported in 2020 that a Project Initiation Report had recommended the replacement of SAFARI-1 and that a prefeasibility study was under way.
“The replacement will ensure South Africa remains one of the leading countries in these fields and benefits from the new technologies in this environment.
“The project will be led by a number of related departments and Necsa as the main client,” the Cabinet statement reads.