The South African Department of Energy (DoE) and Russia’s state-owned nuclear corporation Rosatom, today signed two Memoranda of Understanding at the 7th BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia.
According to a DoE statement, the documents are for the Memorandum on cooperation in training personnel for the South African nuclear energy industry, and the Memorandum on cooperation in Enhancement of Public Awareness of Nuclear Energy in South Africa.
In accordance with the training memorandum, Russia and South Africa intend to implement several joint projects for education in the nuclear energy industry. The countries will cooperate in order to provide training for five categories of specialists for the South African nuclear industry namely: nuclear power plant (NPP) personnel, engineers and construction workers, staff for operations not related to the power industry, personnel for nuclear infrastructure, students and teachers.
The memorandum stipulates that education programmes for 200 South African candidates at Russian universities and educational organisations will be realised. This includes the development of educational materials and scientific literature on nuclear energy, student exchange programmes for students of various levels of training, organisation of internships and summer courses, student competitions and teacher training.
The second Memorandum stipulates joint efforts aimed at promoting nuclear energy in South Africa, increasing the awareness of local residents of modern nuclear technologies used in the power industry and in other industries, and ensuring public acceptance of nuclear energy.
In particular, the parties have agreed to work out a plan for the implementation of a joint communication programme to be launched in South Africa. The programme will involve the organisation of round tables and other events aimed at promoting nuclear energy and modern nuclear technologies.
Rosatom and the DoE will also consider the creation of a Nuclear Energy Information Centre in South Africa. The parties seek to exchange information and best practices in the nuclear industry by organising working visits and international conferences and exhibitions.
The memoranda represent another stage in the cooperation between the two countries aimed at strengthening joint efforts between Russia and South Africa in the field of nuclear energy.
The documents signed are the development of cooperation based on the Intergovernmental Agreement on Strategic Partnership and Cooperation in Nuclear Energy and Industry at the 58th IAEA General Conference in Vienna.
Prior to that, on November 20, 2004 the parties concluded an Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy.