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Energy department to lead nuclear build program

Nuclear options for SA currently being explored, despite objections from activists, unions.
South Africa’s Department of Energy will take over from power utility Eskom Holdings as the lead agency implementing the country’s multibillion-dollar nuclear- reactor program.

“Eskom has come to government and said that with its present situation it cannot handle the nuclear build program,” Zizamele Mbambo, deputy director-general in charge of nuclear energy, told reporters in Cape Town Tuesday. “This will mean a change to government’s current policy.”

South Africa’s energy plan lists Eskom as the owner and operator of the 9 600 megawatts of nuclear-powered generating units that are to be built by 2030. The utility, which supplies about 95% of the country’s electricity, had planned blackouts on 25 days last month because it can’t meet demand from aging plants following years of underinvestment.

There is a sense of urgency about starting the nuclear build program even as no cost estimates have been released, said Wolsey Barnard, acting director-general of the Department of Energy.

“Seven of Eskom’s coal-fired plants will be out of commission by 2023 and that would take 12 000 megawatts out of the national electricity grid,” he told lawmakers. The company relies on coal for about 80% of generation.

The country has held nuclear workshops with Russia, China, the US, France, South Korea, Japan and Canada on new facilities, ignoring objections from environmental activists, opposition parties, unions and even its own advisers.

©2015 Bloomberg News


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Luthuli House came to the conclusion that Nkandla is not scale-able, the amount one is able to steal from the taxpayer is limited to the imagination of the architect. With a large nuclear project however, they trust that the opportunity for corruption is endless. They see only blue sky on this project.

Joemat-Petterson in charge of a nuclear build program? What a disaster in the making. Get iodine tablets ready. And Eskom were warbling earlier in the week that they have enough coal contracts to “manage” into the future. Does the right hand even know that the left hand exists?

End of comments.





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