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The South African Young Nuclear Professionals Society (SAYNPS) welcomes the Request For Information (RFI) released on the 14th June 2020 by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE).

In a statement, the SAYNPS noted that they realise that it is a bold step taken by DMRE towards securing the 2,500MW envisaged in the country’s energy blueprint, the Integrated Resources Plan of 2019.

Read more: South Africa’s plans for nuclear new build programme gains support

SAYNPS has been waiting in anticipation to start the implementation of the IRP 2019, and the issuing of the RFI comes as a “nice present” for SAYNPS as they commemorate youth month.

“It is befitting for us to celebrate the news as part of the journey to liberate the youth of South Africa and in particular young nuclear professionals who are presented with an exciting opportunity to showcase their skills and knowledge in the nuclear fraternity,” SAYNPS said.

Adding that the RFI is a step in the right direction and demonstrate the commitment by the DMRE and South African government to address the energy challenges in the country by implementing the IRP 2019.

This process is meant to test the market and collect the empirical evidence which will assist government to make informed decisions about the future of electricity supply in South Africa.

Read more: South Africa begins preparatory work for nuclear build programme

Our view is that many sectors of the economy such as construction, manufacturing, steel, and mining would benefit from the programme. For example, the construction of new roads would be needed in and around the chosen construction site, which will provide local suppliers with the much-needed opportunities to get involved with the project.

The nuclear build programme would thus have multiple ripple effects.

SAYNPS promotes and educates the general public about the peaceful applications of nuclear energy and technology. Nuclear energy contributes massively to protecting the air quality by producing large amounts of carbon-free electricity.

The energy-intensive sectors such as transportation, the largest contributor to carbon pollution, can benefit greatly from the thermal energy produced from nuclear reactors.