SA delays nuclear plant plan - TechCentral

SA delays nuclear plant plan


South Africa has delayed plans to build new nuclear power plants over concern about their cost and the waning demand for additional electricity as economic growth stalls.

Under a new timeline, the first nuclear power is expected to come on stream in 2037, with a total 20,4GW of nuclear energy added to the national grid by 2050, according to the “base case” scenario outlined in a presentation on the department of energy’s updated Integrated Resources Plan.

The proposal, released in Cape Town on Tuesday, also estimates as additional 37,4GW of power from wind, 17,6GW from solar plants, 35,3GW from gas and 15GW from coal by 2050.

The government previously said it wanted to generate 9,6GW of energy from as many as eight reactors that should begin operating from 2023 and be completed by 2029.

Price estimates had ranged from US$37bn to $100bn (R520bn to R1,4 trillion).

While President Jacob Zuma has championed the nuclear programme, the national treasury has cautioned that the country may be unable to afford new reactors at a time when the economy is barely growing and the budget deficit needs to be curbed to fend off a junk credit rating.

“Gas and renewables forms the biggest chunk of installed capacity by 2050,” the department of energy said in the presentation. “There is significant reduction in installed capacity from coal.”

The department, which has invited public comment on the proposals, also outlines two alternative scenarios that make different assumptions about costs, carbon emissions and the nation’s ability to generate additional renewable energy.

One envisions 25,8GW of nuclear power added to the grid between 2026 and 2049, while the other sees the production of 5,4GW of new atomic power coming on line starting in 2037.

The energy plan will be refined in March next year and then submitted to the cabinet for final sign-off.

Eskom, the state-owned utility, has said it could use the more than R150bn it will accumulate in reserves within 10 years to build new reactors. The utility operates Africa’s only nuclear power plant — the 1,8GW Koeberg facility near Cape Town, which began operating in 1984.

Rosatom, Areva, EDF, Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric unit, China Guangdong Nuclear Power and Korea Electric Power previously expressed interest in building new reactors in South Africa.

South Africa experienced power cuts for about 100 days last year, as demand exceeded supply. Energy shortages eased as new generating capacity was bought on line, maintenance backlogs were addressed and a stagnating economy curbed power demand.  — (c) 2016 Bloomberg LP


  1. Qualifications of a goat herder decides the energy uses for a top 23 …… oops sorry now 84 economical global country. STUPIDO! Mapara! Spoogi Spoog.

  2. South Africa has some of the best solar, wind and waste for fuel resources on the planet. They are far cheaper than nuclear and you can have them in months, no decades. Why is nuclear even still something to consider???? You do know that the SA grid is not close to reliable enough to prevent nuclear power plants from going into emergency station blackouts, right? Look it up.

    Nuclear’s short of fuel ten years IAEA(Pub1104_scr.pdf ) for 2% world’s energy for 50 years. Costs 4 times available solar and wind BEFORE GOV BREAKS Lazard(energy version 9), In the 12 years it takes to install, solar and wind available for 16 times less and already producing more energy than the world needs. Nuclear power plant per year: 27 tons spent fuel rod waste. deadly for a million years, 30 billion dollars dry casks for 100,000 years, 2M tons of toxic mining wastes.

    South Africa has outstanding solar and wind, and more wastes than they know what to do with.

    100% renewables in 15 years. Rooftop and parking lot Solar pv, offshore wind, electric vehicles, efficiency, hydro and waste to fuels for backup, long range and chemicals. Solar 60% total energy without storage We already use most of our energy during the day. Wind 20% . Hydro. Fuels from waste remaining 20%, plus chemicals and long haul.

    Solar and wind majority of new power installs, doubling every two years. 200GWp of solar PV(50GWp installed 2015), 500 GW of solar heating, and 400 GWp of wind as of 2015.

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