SANEA LECTURE: The current status of Nuclear Energy in South Africa

Topic: The current status of Nuclear Energy in South Africa

Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Time: 17h30 for 18h00

Venue: Engen Petroleum Ltd Conference Centre, Ground Floor Engen Court, Thibault Square, Corner of Riebeeck and Long Street, CAPE TOWN

Register / RSVP: Please click here for the online form to register.

Registration to be done by Friday, 14 June 2013 for catering purposes

More info: Please e-mail or call Virosha at the SANEA Secretariat:

E-mail: / Tel: (031) 368-8000


Electricity plan ‘out of date’

Melanie Gosling | 07 May 2013 | Cape Times

SOUTH Africa’s electricity plan is out of date and could lead to the building of unneeded power stations at great cost – and higher electricity prices.

The proposed expansion of nuclear power stations should be delayed because more nuclear power would not be needed before at least 2029, and perhaps not until 2040.

These are some of the findings of a study, “Towards a New Power Plan”, commissioned by the National Planning Commission and compiled by UCT’s Energy Research Centre. Continue reading

Motlanthe affirms SA will continue to develop nuclear energy

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe reaffirmed on Monday South Africa’s “right to research, develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes”. He was delivering the keynote address at the Nuclear Africa 2013 conference in Midrand. “We will continue to develop and promote nuclear energy.”

Motlanthe is the chairperson of the National Nuclear Energy Executive Coordinating Committee. He highlighted that the country cannot achieve its social and economic development objectives without energy. “The need for a clear-minded approach on energy is all the more important.”

The country’s economy, he pointed out, has, for more than a century, been centred on the minerals sector. This “has been central to our development in fundamental ways. It still provides over half of our exports. At the core of this mineral-driven economy has been coal.” Continue reading

A Great Corporate Cock-up – EDF in the UK

George Monbiot in the Guardian 28 February 2013.

Take a ringside seat as a giant company beats the living daylights out of itself.


By George Monbiot, published on the Guardian’s website, 28th February 2013

“Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?” The current answer to Alexander Pope’s question is the power company Électricité de France (EDF). It is suing 21 climate change activists for £5m as a result of their week-long occupation of its power station at West Burton in Nottinghamshire.

In doing so it has made the biggest strategic mistake since McDonalds pursued two impoverished activists – and inflicted more damage on its brand than its critics had ever managed. The campaign against EDF’s vindictive bullying is snowballing with astonishing speed. During daylight hours yesterday, signatures on the petition against this lawsuit were coming in at the rate of 1,000 per hour.

(Contributor’s note: EDF is one of the nuclear companies currently wooing the South African government – let us be warned! Such arrogance is dangerous.)


Full localisation of nuclear plant would be impossible

Full localisation of a South African nuclear plant build programme would be impossible, nuclear reactor and design company Areva South Africa MD Dr Yves Guenon told delegates at the Nuclear Forum on Thursday.

“Following a full audit of local engineering companies, only 10% of the companies qualified for a nuclear build,” he said.

While the South African government had indicated its intent to develop additional local nuclear power plants through its Nuclear Energy Policy, which was gazetted in 2008, it had indicated that it wanted upwards of 50% of the build programme localised.

“Even on nuclear build projects in France, only about 65% of the programme is fully localised. A huge fleet of plants is required to reach the figures outlined by [the South African] government,” said Guenon.

He added that every country in which Areva was contracted to build nuclear energy facilities had certain localisation demands which were not sustainable.

Areva was currently building nuclear power plants in France, China and Finland and was rumoured to be in discussions with South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE) on the possibility of building one, or several, nuclear power facilities. Continue reading

Renewables alone cannot guarantee base-load power – Adam

South Africa’s required base-load power capacity could not be guaranteed through renewable-energy sources alone, Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) president Dr Rob Adam said on Thursday at the fourth yearly Nuclear Forum, which is aligned to the Africa Energy Indaba.

He asserted that, while any generation technology, in theory, contributed to the base load, a higher reliance on “volatile” technologies – commonly considered to be those associated with renewables – put pressure on transmission lines and forced high levels of redundancy.

While renewables were expected to become the second-most widely used power source globally by 2015, coal was to remain the most widely used, particularly in countries that were not members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

However, coal’s contribution to the global energy mix was expected to decrease from around one-half to about one-third.

Econometrix MD Rob Jeffrey added that security of supply with regard to the provision of base-load electricity in South Africa was critical to sustainable and long-term economic growth.

He believed that alternative energy sources, such as solar, wind and wave energy, would continue to have limited large-scale generation capacity. Continue reading

SA to reach nuclear ‘point of no return’ by June

South Africa is likely to reach a “point of no return” with regard to a proposed new nuclear energy build programme by June this year, Department of Energy (DoE) director-general Nelisiwe Magubane revealed on Friday.

She was speaking at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (Necsa’s) Pelindaba site, west of Pretoria, following a meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) director-general Yukiya Amano, who is in South Africa as part of the agency’s infrastructure assessment mission.

Magubane said the country was progressing through the various milestones endorsed by Cabinet ahead of any nuclear decision and indicated that that government still considered the solution as central to meeting the policy objectives of supply security and reducing the country’s carbon footprint.

South Africa’s current Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for the period 2010 to 2030 envisaged the deployment of 9 600 MW of new nuclear capacity between 2023 and 2030. However, delays to the process meant that the first new nuclear capacity was unlikely to enter the system by 2023 as initially envisaged. Continue reading