South Africa to invest in nuclear power programme

IMG 1735South Africa is set to invest between US$60bn to US$70bn over the next 15 years on construction a fleet of new nuclear power stations

The country hopes to add 9,600MW of nuclear power to the national grid by building six to eight more reactors in order to address electricity shortages. 

Rosatom is among several national nuclear corporations bidding for the South African contract, according South African government. 

The Russian nuclear body is also in negotiations with authorities in Algeria, Egypt and Morocco to build proposed nuclear power plants. 

South Africa currently has two nuclear reactors generating five per cent of its electricity, with its first commercial nuclear power reactor beginning operations in 1984.

According to The World Nuclear Association (WNA), electricity consumption in South Africa has been growing rapidly since 1980 and the country is part of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) with 'extensive interconnections' with a number of neighbouring country. 

Total installed generating capacity among SAPP countries is 54.7GWe, of which around 80 per cent is South African, mostly coal-fired, and largely under the control of the state utility Eskom, the WNA stated.

The WNA also claimed that Eskom supplies about 95 per cent of South Africa's electricity and approximately 45 per cent of the continent's electricity requirements. 

Tina Joemat-Pettersson said in the South African parliament the planned nuclear expansion would be "corruption free", following concerns by opposition parties over the tender process and about the affordability of the project.

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