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Draft National Nuclear Regulator Bill on Track

July 23, 2020

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

The Draft National Nuclear Regulator Amendment Bill and the Draft Radioactive Waste Management Fund Bill will soon be published for public comment.

The Budget Vote speech of the mineral resources and energy minister, Gwede Mantashe, revealed this in parliament yesterday.

The speech was delivered by minister Kubayi-Ngubane.

The mineral resources and energy department was “paying attention to policy to ensure certainty, strengthening the regulatory framework and mobilisation of funding for development of infrastructure”.

Ministerial approval has been granted to the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute to embark on the establishment and operationalisation of an off-site above ground Centralised Interim Storage Facility for Spent Nuclear Fuel.

The minister also announced that the Regulations for the Long Term Operation of Nuclear Installations, critical to the Koeberg long-term operation project, have been published for public comment.

The department also plans to develop an artisanal and small-scale mining policy.

Geoscience Act Regulations are under development.

“The Regulation provides for processes relating to the submission of all mineral geo-technical information and prospecting reports. This will empower the Council for Geoscience to compile the country’s geotechnical risk profile and improve South Africa’s attractiveness to investors.”

The minister also announced that the Draft Gas Amendment Bill will be tabled in parliament soon.

“This Bill prioritises infrastructure investment by, among others, constructing infrastructure to import liquefied natural gas and increasing exploration to find domestic gas feedstock to diversify the energy mix and reduce carbon emissions.”

The department plans to develop the Gas Master Plan during the 2020/21 performance cycle.

In terms of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the department has set up a Technical Working Group that will produce a commercial business plan to guide the development of the LNG import-export facilities in various ports including Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay and Port of Ngqura.

The minister also pointed out that the Shale Gas research project in the Karoo is likely to be completed at the end of the 2021/22 financial year.

The Draft Upstream Petroleum Bill will be tabled in parliament during the current financial year.