On Thursday, minister of public enterprises Lynne Brown launched the 2016 Eskom Nuclear Operator Pipeline project at the Koeberg Power Station in Cape Town, aimed at addressing scarce local skills in the field of nuclear energy.
[quote]“Eskom’s Nuclear Project 100 will provide a platform for developing a robust nuclear operator pipeline for South Africa. The programme, spanning five years, aims to build a path to ensure that there are sufficient local nuclear resources to service the country’s present and future nuclear needs,” Brown said.
Nuclear operator training programme
Eskom stated that last month, about 100 young recruits started the flagship nuclear operator training programme at Koeberg Power Station. Brown explained that after a period of five years the trainees will leave the training as qualified nuclear plant operators or related career equivalent.
“What is inspiring is that approximately 95% of students are 35 years and younger and about 40% are black females from various parts of the country,” the minister remarked.
The chairman of Eskom’s board, Dr Baldwin Ngubane, commented: “We support national initiatives like the National Development Plan to build skills amongst the youth of South Africa for Eskom as well as the country’s needs.
“The country’s new nuclear build will require additional resources for operations and the nuclear operator training programme is geared towards ensuring that the South African youth, who has aspirations to access a career path in nuclear, has a chance at realising his or her dreams”.
Nuclear operator – a scarce skill
The public utility highlighted: “Koeberg is the only nuclear power station outside of the US whose training programme is accredited with the National Academy of Nuclear Training, ensuring that our training programme is of a highest standard.
“As the only nuclear power station in Africa, the licensed Reactor Operators, which operate the Koeberg reactors, are a scarce skill. This intake of 100 young people will be trained up and will provide a platform for developing a robust Nuclear Operator pipeline for Koeberg, Eskom and South Africa.”
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