nuclear industry

The South African Department of Energy (DoE) confirmed last month that the Minister of Energy and the President, Jacob Zuma, are opposing a review application by Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environmental Institute.

According to a statement released by the DoE, the application is aimed at reviewing certain decisions of the executive in respect of international agreements on nuclear energy and in respect of certain determinations made in terms of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006.

Eskom: owner and operator

In line with ministerial commitments made in Parliament, the department's revised Determination was gazetted on 14 December 2016.

This Determination follows the Cabinet decision of 2 November 2016, which names Eskom as the owner operator and procurer of the New Nuclear power plants in accordance with the Nuclear Energy Policy of 2008.

The DoE highlighted that the South African Government has not entered into any deal or signed any contract for the procurement of nuclear power.

Eskom commences process

The Department confirms that Eskom has commenced the initial process for the potential procurement of the nuclear new build programme with a Request for Information from interested parties.

A fair, transparent, equitable, competitive and open procurement process will be followed in line with the Constitution, the DoE emphasised.

Eskom has been designated the procurer, owner and operator of nuclear power plants with Necsa as an owner and operator of Front end Fuel Facilities including the Multi-purpose Reactor.

Government remains committed to ensure energy security for the country, through the rollout of the nuclear new build programme as an integral part of the energy mix.

Economic benefits

The nuclear new build programme will enable the country to create jobs and address poverty, develop skills, create infrastructure and industries, as well as contribute to the country’s knowledge economy.

In addition, the DoE noted that it would strengthen the country’s ability to contribute to regional development in the African context, while reducing the carbon footprint in accordance with international commitments with regard to climate change.