Minister: No details on nuke stations

2012-03-06 17:14

Cape Town - No details can be given on the plan to build new nuclear power stations as it is still in its early stages, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Tuesday.

"To date no directive has been given on the issue of the nuclear programme," she told reporters at the launch of energy month in Cape Town.

She said the department was in no way uncertain of its role and responsibilities in the build programme and would release information timeously.

The government's integrated resource plan aims to boost electricity base load in South Africa by scaling up the nuclear output to 9.6 gigawatts.

According to the Treasury's 2012 Budget Review, tabled recently by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, the target date for achieving this is 2029.

According to the review, the nuclear build project is "in the final stages of consideration before [a] financial proposal can be determined".

The department revealed on Tuesday that they anticipated the first output of nuclear power in 2023 at 1 600 megawatts.


Peters said no decision had been made on how many nuclear plants were to be built. She also denied the first plant would be built at Thyspunt in the Eastern Cape.

"An Environmental Impact Assessment is currently underway in Thyspunt. We're not in a position to say that it has been decided."

As a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the country would use a standard milestone approach in its nuclear programme decision-making.

The first milestone was a decision by government to commit to a nuclear programme. A feasibility study would be released at this point.

The second milestone was an invitation for bids.

The third milestone was the commissioning of the power plants.

A presentation on Tuesday showed that various risks of a nuclear programme would be considered, including that of nuclear liability, electricity market conditions, and plant operation performance.

The department would take lessons about building high technology plants from countries like South Korea, China, and Japan.

  • Morne - 2012-03-06 17:19

    Spend the money rather on windfarms or solarpower! Nukes to dangerous! - 2012-03-06 19:40

      One wonders whether anyone has taken notice of the fact that the second largest gas field on the planet has recently been discovered in Mozambique. Gas fired power stations currently power nearly HALF of Europe. The field discovered locally is roughly 4 times the size of the North Sea gas field. Gas powered stations can be erected at roughly ONE THIRD the cost of Nuclear stations. Somebody please take note.

      Morne - 2012-03-06 20:51

      Still its not eco-friendly!

  • Lorrin - 2012-03-06 17:23

    What a waste of money! Windfarms and Solar please Mr Government!

  • chris.huckle - 2012-03-06 17:24

    Solar power and wind farms are not sufficiently developed yet to provide the kind of base power South Africa requires; we need electricity now!

      John - 2012-03-06 22:44

      South Africa first must stop "donating" electricity to the neighboring countries.

  • Piet - 2012-03-06 17:46

    Should have been : "No details can be given yet as the Cadres have not yet determined what amount to fleece of this project in the early stages"

  • Geoff - 2012-03-06 18:28

    Wow! What a lot of money. I bet there are some greedy eyes and smiling faces already!

  • sdconradie - 2012-03-06 18:52

    To everybody criticising nuclear, go do some research. It's the only viable alternative to coal at the moment. Solar and wind is simply not reliable enough and cannot generate nearly enough electricity to compete with coal or nuclear. To build a solar or wind plant large enough to replace a single coal plant the costs will be astronomical! We must be realistic. We need power NOW! - 2012-03-06 19:42

      Please check out my comment above

  • Gert - 2012-03-22 14:33

    We are all waiting with bated breath as to know where they are going to be located. WE need to sell our properties if it is too close (closer than 250km) Germany is getting rid of it and we are getting it. It will be like the toll roads--we shall have no say. Lucky for us China has the know how as to use 90% of the fuel and that means waste storage won't be such a big problem any more. Lets see if this contract can be awarded without bribes and scandals.

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