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SA and France extend nuclear cooperation

Koeberg “’ South
Africa’s only nuclear
power station
Paris, France — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 7 March 2011 – French nuclear energy specialist Areva and the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA) have signed an agreement to extend their ongoing cooperation to develop South Africa’s nuclear industry.

The agreement was signed by Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon, and Necsa CEO Rob Adam in the presence of French minister for industry Eric Besson, South African energy minister Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, and South African industry and trade minister Rob Davies.
It is part of the broader cooperation between France and South Africa established during South African President Zuma’s state visit to France last week.

Under the agreement, AREVA will also assist NECSA in the training of nuclear experts.
After the signing ceremony, Lauvergeon said: “Areva and South Africa have been partners for over 30 years, and we remain fully committed to supporting the country’s nuclear ambitions.”
NECSA also signed a letter of intent with Areva to expand cooperation on nuclear fuel and other technologies.

Areva was among the companies that put in a bid early in 2008 to supply Generation III reactor designs, but the US$9 billion price tags on the reactors scared off the South African government.

South Africa needs an extra 40 000MW to meet increasing electricity demand, and the government has already provided Eskom with guarantees of over R250  billion to seek funding to drive its build programme.

But it is also under increasing pressure to invest in renewable and cleaner technology to reduce the environmental costs of coal and associated costs such as transporting it to power stations.

In terms of South Africa’s electricity energy roadmap “’ the Integrated Resource Plan 2, which has been released for consultation “’ South Africa needs to adopt a nuclear fleet strategy of 9.6 GW, with construction of new nuclear power stations possibly starting in 2023.