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2 500 MW Nuclear New Build Programme on Track

May 27, 2020

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

The drawing up of the roadmap for the 2 500 MW Nuclear New Build Programme will be commencing soon.

The mineral resources and energy department announced this during a briefing on its 2020-2025 strategic plan and 2020-2021 annual performance plan during a virtual meeting in parliament.

Addressing the select committee on land reform, environment, minerals resources and energy, the department added that an oversight monitoring plan for the Koeberg Life Extension Programme is also being developed.

In the short term, inadequate energy supply will be addressed by speeding up energy efficiency rollouts.

“Generation capacity with short lead times and self-generation options will be enabled through systematic regulation.”

As regards medium and long-term outcomes, the “various IRP2019 technologies will be implemented, while the updating and processing of the DMRE’s regulatory frameworks will be accelerated to enable these interventions”.

The department also plans to commence immediately with procurement processes to ensure the security of energy supply.

Small Modular Reactors are being considered to take into account the pace and scale that the country can afford and the market will be tested for robust costing and funding options towards nuclear generation.

The department holds the view that cleaner coal technologies, including Carbon Capture, Utilisation & Storage, will improve coal’s sustainability as a primary energy source.

Other planned interventions include the development of the gas market as an alternative source of energy; enhancing the sustainability of the energy distribution industry by reviewing the regulatory framework and industry structure, as well as introducing regulations to improve the National Energy Regulator’s Regulatory oversight on infrastructure maintenance; revisiting Section 50 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act to help increase domestic beneficiation; addressing licensing turnaround times by reviewing and strengthening relevant legislation; reviewing the Petroleum Bill to encourage inclusive, equitable and competitive exploration and reviewing mine health and safety legislation to reduce the negative impacts of mining on communities.

Meanwhile, in Government Gazette 43341, the National Nuclear Regulator announced that Eskom has applied for a nuclear vessel licence in terms of section 21(3) of the National Nuclear Regulator Act.

The licence will enable a non-nuclear powered vessel to dock in Cape Town harbour for two days in December 2020 in order to transport fresh nuclear fuel assemblies for Koeberg.

Representations are invited within 30 days of the date of publication.