HomeIndustry SectorsFinance and PolicySA nuclear costs challenged

SA nuclear costs challenged

CEO of the Nuclear
Energy Corporation
of SA, Rob Adam
Cape Town, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 02 November 2011 – The cost of building three nuclear power plants with two reactors each should amount to between R300 billion and R400 billion, and not R1 trillion as reported.

This statement was made here by Rob Adam, CEO of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of SA (Necsa), while answering questions during the presentation of the corporation’s annual report to parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Energy. Citing I-Net Bridge, Fin24 reported that in his presentation Adam pushed the idea that nuclear power was the cleanest and most cost effective form of energy.

“If you take the simple arithmetic, a 1,600MW nuclear reactor would cost around R50 billion, and so the total cost of the programme would not amount to more than R300 million to R400 billion at the top,” he said.

The Department of Energy’s integrated resource plan that aims to build the country’s power generation over the next 20 to 30 years proposes construction of three new nuclear power stations with two 1 600 MW generators each. However, no firm plans have been disclosed about the details of the proposed nuclear build programme.

“The economics of a nuclear power plant are also very simple,” Adam said. “One pays for it over 20 to 30 years and then it has a lifespan of between 40 to 60 years. The electricity can be sold for a long time after it has been paid off. There is a reason why Koeberg is Eskom’s cash cow.”

In answer to a question from MPs about Necsa being consulted on the nuclear build programme, Adam said it had not, but that this was understandable.

“It is human nature to believe that one has not been consulted as much as one should have, and we have been partly consulted. However, the information around the programme is being quite closely guarded within government,” he explained.

Adam said nuclear was still the best way to increase the country’s power generation while trying to reduce carbon emissions.