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Nuclear News

Opinion: PBMRs could be built in old power stations due to be decommissioned 

     25th May 2017 The African Utility week saw an important and welcome announcement. Eskom’s Chief nuclear officer revealed that Eskom was reconsidering the Pebble Bed Modular reactor (PBMR). For whatever reason, work on this ground-breaking project was stopped by the South African Government in 2010. The latest... 

NNR CEO elected president of nuclear safety convention review meeting

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th May 2017 National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) CEO Dr Bismark Tyobeka has been elected to serve as president of the sixth review meeting of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Nuclear Fuel Management and Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. The joint convention was adopted on September 5, 1997, and... 

Westinghouse reaches deal for $800m US bankruptcy loan

By: Reuters     24th May 2017 Westinghouse Electric Co told a US court on Tuesday the nuclear power company had reached a deal to borrow $800-million after allaying creditors' concerns that the money would be flowing to non-bankrupt affiliates overseas. Westinghouse, a unit of Japan's Toshiba Corp, filed for bankruptcy in... 

SA to start renegotiating nuclear accords next month – Energy Minister 

By: African News Agency      19th May 2017 The South African government will start renegotiating its inter-governmental agreements on nuclear cooperation with five nations, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said on Friday. This comes after the government decided last week not to appeal a high court ruling that effectively halted... 

Advances in PBMR designs demonstrate possible cost, efficiency benefits – Eskom 

By: Kim Cloete     19th May 2017 Advances have been made in the new Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) design, which show promise for being both cheaper and less complicated than previous designs, says Eskom. The design for PBMRs were initially developed in South Africa. Research into PBMRs was mothballed in 2010, but has since... 

Thyspunt nuclear power plant would bring great benefits to the region – CDC 

By: Kim Cloete     18th May 2017 The Eastern Cape is holding out hope that the planned Thyspunt nuclear power plant will be built in the province despite the nuclear deal being put on ice for now. Coega Development Corporation (CDC) energy business development manager Sandisiwe Ncemane said the plant would hold great economic... 

No corruption in nuclear negotiations, Eskom chief nuclear officer assures 

By: Kim Cloete     18th May 2017 Eskom’s chief nuclear officer David Nicholls is still firmly committed to the principle that nuclear is the way to go for a sustainable energy future and says he knows of no corruption in negotiations on a deal to procure new nuclear energy capacity. “I’ve been in the middle of this deal for... 

Necsa signs skills-related MoU with French utility

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th May 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) and French electric utility company Electricité de France (EDF) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to advance training of and development of technical skills and, for the continuous education and training of technicians, in the... 

DoE won’t appeal nuclear ruling, but Kubayi leaves door open for new nuclear determination ahead of IRP update 

By: Terence Creamer     13th May 2017 Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi announced on Saturday that government would not appeal the April 26 ruling of the Western Cape High Court, which declared the processes hitherto used to procure new nuclear capacity to be unconstitutional and illegal, along with three nuclear-related... 

DoE won’t appeal nuclear ruling, but Kubayi leaves door open for new nuclear determination ahead of IRP update
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi

Atomic agency looks to increase assistance to nuclear hopefuls

     12th May 2017 Nuclear energy organisation, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Russian State-owned atomic corporation Rosatom have reached an agreement that is aimed at strengthening IAEA assistance to member States that are considering introducing or expanding nuclear power programmes. Under... 

Atomic agency looks to increase assistance to nuclear hopefuls
Photo by Duane Daws
NUCLEAR AMBITIONS Ghana may soon erect a nuclear power station, making it the second African country to do so

Court ruling means new approach needed for SA’s nuclear programme

By: Keith Campbell     12th May 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) called for “caution and common sense” in the press release it issued on April 28 in response to the Western Cape High Court judgement on April 26, which set aside as unconstitutional and unlawful certain policy decisions and intergovernmental... 

Focus on future uranium tech amid subdued price

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th May 2017 With innovations in the extraction and application of uranium constantly being made, the Uranium 2017 International Conference will provide a platform for the discussion of advances in the industry and a forum for generating new ideas. 

Focus on future uranium tech amid subdued price
LOCATION IS KEY The Uranium 2017 International Conference will include a site visit to Rio Tinto’s Rössing mine – the longest running uranium mine in the world

Nuclear energy provides secure, clean, affordable baseload power

By: Nadine James     12th May 2017 Nuclear energy is the only provider of secure, reliable, clean and affordable baseload power that, from a total lifecycle cost perspective, offers one of the most affordable electricity sources, states the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa). Niasa supply chain development... 

Nuclear energy provides secure, clean, affordable baseload power
Photo by Duane Daws
PELINDABA Some South African companies have already achieved local nuclear regulatory standards and requirements and have been implementing them on the Koeberg and Pelindaba's Research Reactor with success

Nuclear is too expensive, too controversial

By: Nadine James     12th May 2017 Implementing a nuclear build programme in South Africa would be extremely difficult because of the associated expenses as well as the controversy surrounding nuclear power, says financial services company Thomson Reuters. “Globally, government decisions regarding nuclear programmes are delayed... 

Nuclear is too expensive, too controversial
ROBERT FISH The costs associated with constructing the necessary infrastructure added to the costs of importing most of the nuclear technology, fuel and materials, will incur large amounts of debt

Warning issued that nuclear ruling may pose risk to legality of IPP programmes 

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2017 The recent nuclear ruling, which set aside the Ministerial determinations designed to facilitate the procurement of nuclear power stations, may also carry risks for the legality of the various independent power producer (IPP) procurement programmes, which are proceeding on the basis of... 

Warning issued that nuclear ruling may pose risk to legality of IPP programmes

Claims for 100% renewable electricity too sanguine, study asserts 

By: Keith Campbell     5th May 2017 In a paper published in “Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews” Volume 76, four Australian researchers have warned that published modelled scenarios which affirm that an electricity system based entirely on renewable energy sources is possible are significantly underestimating the challenges... 

Renewable microgrids the future of African power system – research institution

By: Nadine James     5th May 2017 Self-sustaining renewable microgrids could foreseeably drive the development of Africa’s power system, resulting in quick, cost-effective electrification that enhances power security, says South African national research institution, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). CSIR... 

Renewable microgrids the future of African power system – research institution
SUBSISTENCE POWER A power system based on renewable technologies would be vastly different to the current system as an individual wind turbine could be used to generate cheap electricity for a microgrid in a remote village

The consequences of the Western Cape High Court's ruling on South Africa’s nuclear procurement programme 

     4th May 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the immediate and longer term consequences of the Western Cape High Court’s ruling on South Africa’s nuclear procurement process. 

The consequences of the Western Cape High Court's ruling on South Africa’s nuclear procurement programme
The consequences of the Western Cape High Court's ruling on South Africa’s nuclear procurement programme

Rosatom still keen to bid for South Africa's nuclear power fleet

By: Reuters     3rd May 2017 Russia's Rosatom said on Wednesday it was still committed to taking part in a transparent and competitive bidding process to build nuclear power plants in South Africa after a court blocked the plans last week. South Africa's Energy Minister said on Tuesday the government may appeal the judgment... 

Judgment means new approach for South Africa’s nuclear project, not its end, says industry 

By: Keith Campbell     28th April 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) has called for “caution and common sense” in its press release on Friday, responding to the Western Cape High Court judgment on Wednesday, which set aside as unconstitutional and unlawful certain policy decisions and intergovernmental... 

Judgment means new approach for South Africa’s nuclear project, not its end, says industry
Photo by Duane Daws
Necsa chairperson Dr Kelvin Kemm

Ruling welcomed as halting procurement of new nuclear plants

By: African News Agency      27th April 2017 Opposition parties and activists have hailed as a victory the Western Cape High Court ruling on Wednesday that has effectively called to a halt government’s controversial nuclear power expansion programme. Judge Lee Bozalek, in response to an application from environmental groups, set aside two... 

Ruling welcomed as halting procurement of new nuclear plants

Opinion: Court’s ‘clean slate’ nuclear directive a big opportunity for new Energy Minister 

By: Terence Creamer     26th April 2017 Having been effectively directed by the Western Cape High Court to “start with a clean slate” when approaching the controversial issue of nuclear procurement, South Africa’s new Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has some big calls to make. In the April 26 judgment signed off by justices Lee... 

Opinion: Court’s ‘clean slate’ nuclear directive a big opportunity for new Energy Minister
The Koeberg nuclear power plant in the Western Cape

Rosatom to aid IAEA in developing atomic infrastructures in new nuclear countries

By: Keith Campbell     25th April 2017 Russia’s national atomic energy group Rosatom and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have concluded a Contribution Agreement, under which the group will help fund IAEA nuclear infrastructure development programmes, Rosatom announced on Tuesday. These programmes assist countries seeking... 

Eskom confirms it wants exemption from ‘areas’ of national procurement regulations for nuclear

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st April 2017 State-owned power Eskom on Friday confirmed in a statement that it had raised concerns with National Treasury about “areas” of the current procurement regulations, specifically mentioning waivers of certain evaluation criteria that would be required to facilitate the “proposed nuclear new build... 

Eskom confirms it wants exemption from ‘areas’ of national procurement regulations for nuclear

Interest in nuclear energy said to be rising across sub-Saharan Africa

By: Keith Campbell     21st April 2017 There is more interest in nuclear energy in sub-Saharan Africa than is generally realised. According to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), countries in the region which are individually planning or considering nuclear power are Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and... 

Interest in nuclear energy said to be rising across sub-Saharan Africa

Koeberg Unit 2 shut down for planned maintenance

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th April 2017 Unit 2 of Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear power station was shut down on Monday for a scheduled refuelling outage, after a record 492 days of uninterrupted run. The refuelling outage will take about two months to complete, with Unit 2 expected back on line by May. Unit 1 is currently operating optimally... 

France’s new nuclear firm pursuing SA research reactor deal

By: Keith Campbell     14th April 2017 Newly created French nuclear company TechnicAtome plans to bid for South Africa’s planned new research reactor. The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) is planning a p rogramme to replace its current research reactor, SAFARI-1, which is now more than 50 years old. "We are absolutely... 

Kouga municipality gears up for possible nuclear development

By: African News Agency      13th April 2017 Seven work groups are expected to be established to help prepare the Kouga municipal region for the construction of a nuclear plant at Thyspunt should the national power project receive the green light. Kouga executive mayor Elza van Lingen said the work groups will serve as subcommittees of the... 

Pushing ahead with nuclear deal will guarantee SA junk status, says DA 

By: African News Agency      10th April 2017 It is an undeniable fact that South Africa cannot afford, and does not need, government’s planned nuclear energy deal, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Sunday. Media reports on Sunday that the nuclear deal was going full-steam ahead were extremely concerning and would essentially guarantee... 

Pushing ahead with nuclear deal will guarantee SA junk status, says DA

Least-cost base case essential starting point for IRP process – Sawea

By: Mia Breytenbach     7th April 2017 The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) has rejected the current base case scenario used for the 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) Update for Electricity, calling for the scenario to be remodelled as a “least-cost energy plan” and re-issued for consultation. The public participation... 

Least-cost base case essential starting point for IRP process – Sawea

CSIR’s formal IRP submission deviates dramatically from Base Case 

By: Terence Creamer     5th April 2017 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) formal input into the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) public consultation process, which ended on March 31, proposes a new-build mix that deviates materially from the IRP Base Case released by the Department of Energy (DoE) in November.... 

CSIR’s formal IRP submission deviates dramatically from Base Case

‘No firm decisions’ on nuclear, Gigaba insists as he seeks to soothe post-junk anxieties

By: Terence Creamer     4th April 2017 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has reiterated South Africa’s stance that the proposed nuclear programme be implemented only at a “pace and scale” that is affordable and denied that any “firm decisions” had been made on the issue, besides Cabinet’s endorsement of a plan to add 9 600 MW of new... 

‘No firm decisions’ on nuclear, Gigaba insists as he seeks to soothe post-junk anxieties
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

High-temperature reactor phoenix emerging from PBMR ashes? 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd April 2017 Early-stage research into the possible revival of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) has yielded a revamped reactor concept that incorporates an entirely new operational philosophy, as well as the use of construction materials and manufacturing techniques that were either not considered or... 

High-temperature reactor phoenix emerging from PBMR ashes?
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom chief nuclear officer David Nicholls

Treasury shoots down nuclear deal allegations

By: News24Wire      3rd April 2017 National Treasury on Sunday set the record straight on news that was circulating on social media of a nuclear deal allegedly signed by incoming Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. African National Congress (ANC) member Sibusisiwe Mngadi had alleged on Facebook earlier on Sunday that “the nuclear deal... 

Treasury shoots down nuclear deal allegations
Photo by Duane Daws
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

France sets up new nuclear company as part of restructuring process

By: Keith Campbell     30th March 2017 The latest step in the restructuring of the French nuclear industry was announced on Thursday evening. Areva TA (responsible for propulsion and research reactors) has been separated from its parent company, Areva SA (Société Anonyme) and set up as an independent company in its own right. The new... 

Sapvia reiterates call for ‘least-cost’ approach as IRP, IEP public comment deadline looms 

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th March 2017 As the deadline for public comment on the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) 2016 approaches, the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia) has reiterated its call for the use of the “least-cost” approach in South Africa’s future energy mix. The... 

Africa needs nuclear energy – Rosatom 

By: Keith Campbell     30th March 2017 Sub-Saharan Africa has a real need for, and rapidly growing interest in, nuclear power. This was affirmed by Rosatom International Network Regional VP: Sub-Saharan Africa Viktor Polikarpov at the Nuclear Africa 2017 conference on Wednesday. Rusatom International Network is part of Russia's... 

Africa needs nuclear energy – Rosatom
Photo by Duane Daws
Viktor Polikarpov
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