SA still looking at nuclear options

2014-10-06 13:12

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

South Africa is still looking at different options to facilitate nuclear power in the country, energy department acting director-general Wolsey Barnard has said.

“[There have been reports] recently in the news around the signing of nuclear agreements, where South Africa is currently busy with the investigation phase to look at different nuclear technologies on offer from different countries and different entities,” he said at an Association of Municipal Electricity Utilities conference in Midrand.

“I just have to mention that nuclear is not per se just to insure the supply of electricity but it’s a programme to also supply other economic development.”

He said there were various options to ensure security of electricity supply in the country, including nuclear, gas, co-generation, and coal.

On September 22, the department and Russia’s atomic energy agency Rosatom issued separate but identical statements that South Africa had struck a “deal” for the construction of up to eight nuclear power plants.

Last week Barnard denied this statement had been a mistake. There had, however, been a “misunderstanding” of the statement.

“No, it wasn’t a mistake,” he told reporters in Pretoria on Wednesday.

“Just in terms of where this misunderstanding comes from, each country has its own technology. And to procure... for 9 600MW, you’re going to need to utilise the different technologies that are being offered by the various vendors.”

This technology would differ from country to country.

“So, with respect to the Russians, their technology that they’re using ... basically is for that 9 600MW capacity.

That will require eight generators... That’s the clarification around why it was stated in such a way,” he said.

The agreement that was signed was only for future development.

“There is nothing procured from Russia; that’s what they can offer South Africa. It’s a process of investigation ... we can’t make a decision if we don’t have the full picture. That’s what we’re doing now,” he said at the time.

In a statement on Wednesday, the department said with regards to the nuclear build programme, “no information of relevance to the public will be withheld”.

On September 26, the Mail & Guardian reported that Zuma took control of a R1 trillion nuclear deal with Russia for that country to supply as many as eight nuclear plants to South Africa.

Zuma reportedly negotiated directly with Russian president Vladimir Putin, and instructed Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to sign the deal.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said on Friday that Zuma would not act alone when negotiating nuclear power agreements.

“Media reports that President Jacob Zuma has negotiated or will negotiate and conclude nuclear power agreements alone are incorrect,” Maharaj said.

“The president works with Cabinet on the matter.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.