DA wants details of Russia nuclear deal

2014-09-23 08:42

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson must divulge details of a nuclear power agreement signed with Russia, the Democratic Alliance has said.

DA spokesperson on energy Lance Greyling yesterday said his party had serious concerns about the deal.

He said that in terms of a draft agreement last year, which was not concluded, Russia would have had exclusive rights for the construction of nuclear plants in South Africa.

This was by binding the government to seek Russia’s consent if South Africa wanted to enter into any other agreements with organisations from other countries, Greyling said.

Agence France-Presse reported yesterday that Russian atomic agency Rosatom committed to provide up to eight nuclear reactors to South Africa by 2023 in a deal signed on the sidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency conference in Vienna.

Greyling said: “Rosatom’s technology is reportedly also not the most advanced of the options on the table, and is therefore also not necessarily the most cost-effective.”

Finer details on the cost per megawatt-hour of Rosatom’s reactors compared to others were therefore needed.

“This deal may also undermine South Africa’s bilateral commitments on nuclear energy with other nations and would indeed act against South Africa’s national interest – limiting our ability to effectively negotiate and procure nuclear capacity from other nations.”

Greyling called on Joemat-Pettersson to urgently reveal details of the agreement to the public.

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