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Koeberg Life Extension Under the Spotlight

July 24, 2020

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

The 20-year extension of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant’s life is to be completed by 2024.

The mineral resources and energy department highlighted this during an address on the South African Young Nuclear Professionals Society Webinar delivered by Zizamele Mbambo, deputy director general: nuclear energy.

Other targets outlined in the department’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan and 2020-2021 Annual Performance Plan include 2500MW of nuclear energy procured by 2024; new Multi-Purpose Reactor procured by 2024 to replace SAFARI1 Research Reactor and Centralised Interim Radioactive Waste Storage Facility procured by 2024.

In terms of the recently released Request for Information (RFI) in respect of the Nuclear New Build Power Procurement Programme, the DDG emphasized that the RFI is “solely for information and planning purposes and does not commit to any competitive tender”.

The RFI also aims to address some key issues raised by stakeholders such as realistic costing, funding and ownership model adopted.

The Integrated Resource Plan 2019 calls for government to immediately commence with the small-scale nuclear build programme to the extent of 2500 MW by 2030, at a pace, scale and cost affordable to the country and also provides for the extension of the design life of Koeberg for another 20 years, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.

The department has a strong interest in considering the use of Small Modular Reactors for the generation of emission-free electricity once the units become commercially available.

The DDG confirmed that the department plans to publish the Draft Radioactive Waste Management Fund Bill and amendments to the National Nuclear Regulator Act for public comment at the end of the current financial year.

As regards the successful implementation of the nuclear programme, robust, clear and continuous engagement with the public is key.

“We need to harness all communication platforms at our disposal to inspire and energise South Africans and assert a narrative of hope that nuclear energy can be used to improve our socio-economic lives rather than hopelessness.”

Meanwhile, in a statement, the department announced that the Carbon Offset Administration System (COAS) has gone live as of 23 July 2020.

The COAS flows from the Carbon Offset Regulations.

The COAS is designed to “facilitate receipt and approval of project applications as well as the issuance of the offset retirement certificates as required by carbon taxpayers to claim the carbon offset allowance under the Carbon Tax Act”.

Relevant participants are invited to register on the system.