Supply chain reaction – Localisation Issues for Nuclear New Build (June 2012), report by Deloitte 12 June 2012.

South Africa has recently faced a reality of power supply struggling to meet rising demand driven by strong economic growth, a low cost of electricity, rapid industrialisation and a mass electrification programme without any significant increase in generation capacity. As a result the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010 has been designed to guide the country’s energy mix and planning for the next 20 years. The IRP 2010 has allocated 9600 MW for nuclear, to be completed by 2030, of which the first 1600 MW is due to come online in 2023. If each plant is assumed to be 1600 MW, as does the IRP 2010, it would entail a fleet of 6 reactors which will cost approximately ZAR 400 bn.
According to the US “Utility Requirement Documents (URD)” approximately half of the nuclear power plant costs are for nuclear island equipment whilst the rest of the costs are split between the conventional island (~30%) and balance of plant (~20 %).

The benefits of localisation include job creation, possible reduction in costs, scientific and industrial development, autonomy, shortening of the supply chain as well as the establishment of centres of excellence which will benefit other industries.

With the national and global economy facing numerous challenges and constraints, it is important that a localisation programme for nuclear power plants is effective both in terms of enabling the primary goal of delivering electricity on schedule but also in terms of achieving secondary objectives such as job creation and a sustainable supply chain.

(Editorial note: After reading the Deloitte report, one can see that the nuclear road is long, hard and risky. SA would be competing with the well-established nuclear industries in South Korea, Japan, US etc if we want to go for deep localisation. This all sounds like we would be entering an investment black hole, with few guarantees of success.)

Report by Deloitte