Government last month announced that it had successfully concluded the second nuclear vendor parade workshop with delegations from China, France, South Korea and the US in its bid to source experienced nuclear energy partners to help with South Africa’s nuclear power generation programme.
The workshop entailed presentations by delegations of the four countries on the nuclear technology offerings of each. South Africa was represented by a contingent of senior technical officials from government, State-owned entities and academics.
Vendor countries showcased and demonstrated their capabilities to carry out the implementation of the required 9 600 MW nuclear power capacity programme in South Africa, if chosen.
The vendors made presentations on the full nuclear value chain, including showcasing their technologies, and areas such as uranium mining, conversion, enrichment, fuel fabrication, localisation and industrialisation, power generation, safety and licensing, job creation, research and development, skills transfer and development.
Government states that, to date, it has engaged the six vendor countries, including Russia and Japan, with which it has inter-governmental framework agreements.
The conclusion of the vendor parade marks a significant milestone in government’s pre-procurement phase for the roll-out of the nuclear new-build programme.
Going forward government will design and launch a procurement process.
Necsa Welcomes Nuclear
The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) in October stated that it welcomed government’s current work aimed at expediting the nuclear new-build programme. Necsa board of directors chairperson and ambassador Mochubela Seekoe said the programme would develop skills, create sustainable jobs and contribute to dynamic economic growth in South Africa.
“The nuclear power expansion, in accordance with government’s Integrated Resource Plan for 2010 to 2030, seeks to deliver a modern nuclear generation fleet which will ensure a low-cost and low-carbon baseload electricity supply for decades to come,” he elaborated.
He added that Necsa was ready to play its role in the new-build programme, including supporting localisation, the manu- facture of components and skills development.
The Department of Energy (DoE) last month took several questions from opposition party MPs on the nuclear energy programme. United Democratic Movement MP Bantu Holomisa asked the department whether the nuclear agreement with Russia had been approved by a State law adviser, if there was a legal basis for grouping the agreement, as classified, and if Parliament would be given details of the agreement.
The department responded that a State law adviser had approved the agreement. Further, government was still in negotiations with other countries and divulging the details of its agreement with Russia would “jeopardise the delicate process of negotiations.” The department would also submit the agreement to the Cabinet and thereafter to Parliament for deliberation.
Democratic Alliance MP Lance Greyling asked the DoE if Energy Minister Tina Joemat Pettersson would discuss the nuclear build programme in Parliament; the department responded that the programme would be submitted to Cabinet for approval and later to Parliament for deliberation.
Greyling also asked if the vendor workshop was open to attendance by MPs, to which the department responded that they were not. In addition, Greyling asked if other countries would be granted the same opportunity to meet with the DoE as had been accorded the Russian Federation nuclear scientists at a privately held meeting. The department responded that it would hold vendor parade workshops with other countries with which it had intergovernmental framework agreements.