Nersa gets green light to approve new nuclear power procurement, but Ts & Cs apply

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Eskom's Koeberg nuclear power station outside Cape Town.
Eskom's Koeberg nuclear power station outside Cape Town.
Jay Caboz)

A National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) committee has recommended that the regulator approve a plan to procure 2 500 MW of new nuclear power.

It will now be up to Nersa's full board to make a decision on whether it agrees with the plan as set out by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe in August last year. 

At a meeting on Friday morning, Nersa's electricity subcommittee was broadly supportive of Mantashe's plan. This followed public hearings earlier in the year. 

Liz McDaid, Parliamentary and energy advisor to the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), said that South Africans would now have to wait see what Nersa's board decides.

If the board decides to concur with Mantahse's determination, it will have to publish the reasons behind its decision, including the "suspensive conditions" mentioned in the meeting on Friday.

Outa is opposing the new nuclear build, saying it is "not affordable, not appropriate and should not be approved". No requests for proposal have yet been issued for the new nuclear build. 

Mantashe has previously said that nuclear power will play a vital role in the country's energy mix.

"We need to contest the space in the energy debate, for nuclear as a clean energy technology. Scientific evidence is available to support our position," he said in September last year. 

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