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Mantashe Shines Light on Nuclear Power

September 23, 2020

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

Nuclear power will continue to play a vital role in South Africa’s energy mix.

The mineral resources and energy minister, Gwede Mantashe, declared this during an address on the occasion of the 64th Session of the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference in Vienna.

The minister added that, in addition to energy security, “there is a bigger role for nuclear in clean energy initiatives, to transition us from high to low carbon emissions, while expanding our power sources at the same time”.

The minister indicated that government needs to “contest the space in the energy debate, for nuclear as a clean energy technology”.

The minister informed delegates that South Africa has initiated consultations with “suppliers of nuclear power reactors to provide costing and schedule information and possible ownership models, through a Request for Information for the 2500MW programme issued in June 2020”.

The minister also confirmed that the technical and regulatory work to extend the operational life of Koeberg nuclear power station by another 20 years has begun.

As regards the replacement and upgrade of SAFARI-1, the Project Initiation Report that recommends that SAFARI-1 be replaced with a Multi-Purpose Reactor has been approved and the project has advanced to the pre-feasibility stage.

Meanwhile, the department has announced that the Bidders’ Conference for the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme will be held on 25 September 2020.