South Africa initiates nuclear power procurement process

Which could lead to adding up to 9,600 megawatts of nuclear power to the national grid.

South Africa has started a process that could lead to it adding up to 9,600 megawatts of nuclear power to its national grid, the department of energy said on Sunday.

The department said the cabinet had earlier this month given the green light to issue a request for proposals from the nuclear industry, which would be put to the cabinet for approval before a request was issued for formal bids.

It gave no timeframe for the process but the broader plan to boost nuclear power extends over the coming 15 years.

Africa’s most industrialised economy, which relies heavily on coal for electricity, has been grappling with power shortages that have curtailed economic growth, and the Treasury in October set aside 200 million rand to consider the costs, benefits and risks of building more nuclear power stations.

Yet the costs of nuclear power make it a controversial option.

Analysts estimate the nuclear project will cost as much as 1 trillion rand ($66 billion), sparking criticism from opposition parties of the expense and of construction agreements being made behind closed doors.

Former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene pledged that the nuclear programme would be transparent and his successor Pravin Gordhan has said his office would ensure that South Africa stuck to fiscal prudence, including on any deals relating to the building of nuclear power stations.

In Sunday’s statement the department of energy said it was committed to cost effectiveness and transparency, adding it would ensure that the process is done within the government’s fiscal policy framework.

South Africa has one nuclear power plant, the Koeberg station near Cape Town.

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Don’t be ridiculous. The obvious elephant in the living room is the potential of a nuclear power plant to make large tracts of land uninhabitable for generations. This has already happened in Fukishima prefecture and Chernobyl (Pripyat) with two level 7 nuclear accidents in the last 30 years. No doubt, the ANC would insist on AA, EE and BEEEE management principles when handing out jobs for their pals. This has severely compromised the ability of the civil service to function yet this morally degenerate policy applied to nuclear power stations is the pathway to a whole new hitherto unfathomed world of pain.

The price of $66 billion for 9600 MW capacity is fairly meaningless without a proper cost benefit analysis. This is typical junk unsubstantiated journalism. Reading this drivel certainly does not raise my opinion of journos who tend to be left-leaning, devoid of any scientific, engineering or finance training. A ten year old with spell check activated could have written this article.

The real question one should be asking is what is the cost of generation per kWh taking into account construction, operation, fuel, reprocessing, waste storage, insurance and decommissioning? Of course these are estimates and estimates are always accompanied by uncertainty. However, only with these data can one make some informed decisions.

Just watching the highly efficient way Eskom manages to finish off it’s projects ahead of time within budget will happen here too. When SA is reduced to a begging bowl defaulting on loans and impoverishing the whole country and it’s citizens, I suppose the blame will be heaped on Jan. There are hundreds of companies wanting to use their own capital to build windfarms etc yet this lot carry on like a little boy in a toy shop. have to have one of these because Jimmy has one. Wake up, smell the roses we cannot afford one, plain and simple and even if we could who will run it, these out of control cadres who’s first qualification to run these things will be to know nothing about it, as they do now, SAA, SABC, Eskom …………

The South African government just doesn’t get it, does it? We’re one level above junk status, and nuclear spend will push us into junk.That should focus their minds. If not, then they have a seeing, hearing & comprehension problem.

With Tina you-know-who as the (ir)responsible minister, who is utterly clueless, and her boss the bumbling but dangerous fool, this project is assured of resounding success. And while they are spending what the country does not have, they also want to implement a national health scheme.

The problem is that in the 10 to 15 years it will take to bring these to fruition (assuming they ever get built) the cost of renewable energy will have come down dramatically and advances in energy storage will make it viable for many Eskom customers to go ex grid. So in addition to Richard’s elephant in the room we will end up with two huge white ones!

End of comments.

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