South Africa has hosted major nuclear energy school for African countries

Necsa Group CEO Loyiso Tyabashe

Necsa Group CEO Loyiso Tyabashe

27th November 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The fourth International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Nuclear Energy Management (NEM) school for Africa was held in Cape Town, from November 13 to November 24, the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) has highlighted. Necsa hosted the school, on behalf of South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. “Skills development is one of our key strategic priorities as an organisation, [so] we are therefore proud to be part of NEM school,” affirmed Necsa Group CEO Loyiso Tyabashe.

An IAEA NEM school provides participants with knowledge of, and an international perspective on, all the areas that are relevant to the complete nuclear energy lifecycle. These include nuclear energy policy, safety culture, security, safeguards, nuclear regulation and licensing, and the nuclear fuel cycle. The Cape Town school was attended by representatives of 13 African countries, namely Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.

“As Necsa, we are always excited to be part of the initiative that does not only uplift South Africa but the African continent as a whole,” he enthused. “This year we partnered with Eskom (Koeberg [nuclear power plant, or NPP]), National Nuclear Regulator as well as iThemba LABS [Laboratories for Accelerator Based Science] as local key role players. For the first time the thematic experts were entirely from South Africa for this year’s NEM school; that tells you about the skills we possess in the country.”

The different African countries are at different levels of experience with civil nuclear technology and with the implementation of their nuclear energy policies. South Africa currently has the only operating NPP in Africa, the two-reactor Koeberg facility. But Egypt is currently building a four-reactor NPP at El Dabaa, on its Mediterranean coast. Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria have formally decided to adopt nuclear energy. The other States are exploring it. Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco and Nigeria, like South Africa, have operational nuclear research reactors.

A NEM school operates at three levels. It introduces the participants to the managerial and leadership expertise required to properly execute a national nuclear energy programme. It provides an international educational experience. And it is a global networking platform for future nuclear energy managers and leaders. Such schools are part of the range of nuclear energy support services provided by the IAEA to its member States.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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