The argument put forward by Eskom that it can handle South Africa's controversial nuclear build programme is fundamentally flawed, says Seán Mfundza Muller.
South Africa’s cabinet is to consider a proposal that a mooted nuclear power deal for the country be financed through the state-owned power utility Eskom. This is the latest twist in South Africa’s controversial efforts to expand its nuclear power capability by commissioning up to 9.6GW of energy from six nuclear power stations. The decision has been mired in controversy and still hangs in the balance and the offer by Eskom to foot the bill raises more questions than it provides answers.
Recent claims by Eskom’s management fail to adequately address any of the fundamental criticisms of the proposed nuclear programme.
Statements that Eskom can “finance nuclear on its own”, or absorb the risks from an incorrect decision, don’t add up economically or financially, and are misleading.