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Nkabane Shines Light on Nuclear Energy

March 18, 2022

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

Nuclear plays a pivotal role as one of the clean energy sources needed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The deputy minister of mineral resources and energy, Dr Nobuhle Nkabane, emphasized this during an address at the Nuclear Technology Imbizo in Cape Town.

The deputy minister added that this position is in line with Principle Number 3 of South Africa’s Nuclear Energy Policy, which states that “Nuclear Energy shall form part of South Africa’s strategy to mitigate climate change.”

She also highlighted that the Integrated Resource Plan of 2019 indicates that the “expected decommissioning of approximately 24 100MW of coal fired power plants post-2030 supports the need for additional capacity from cleaner baseload energy technologies including giving recognition to nuclear as a clean energy source”.

According to the deputy minister, the concurrence by the National Energy Regulator last year to the 2021 determination in terms of section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act for the procurement of 2 500MW of nuclear energy came with “Suspensive Conditions” that are currently being addressed.

Nkabane stressed that South Africa is “well endowed with nuclear capability and should align with the global consensus to recognise that nuclear power will play a critical role in mitigating climate change”.

Consequently, South Africa needed to include nuclear power and infrastructure as part of the Green Taxonomy to ensure that nuclear is competitive and sustainable.

The deputy minister declared that stakeholders need to consider “how we can demystify nuclear technology for a broader reach to ensure public’ understanding and acceptance”.