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Govt making progress with nuclear vendors

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Government is making progress in its meetings with prospective nuclear vendors, the department of energy said on Sunday.

“Government is making significant progress in its engagements with various prospective nuclear vendors as part of the process towards implementation of the expansion in the nuclear new build programme,” deputy director general Zizamele Mbambo said in a statement.

The South African government has been meeting with different countries and signing agreements to build nuclear power stations in the country.

Mbambo said the policy prescripts were meant to add 9600 megawatts of electricity to the national electricity grid and ensure that lights were kept on in a sustainable manner.

“Recently, government has been holding consultations with a number of nuclear vendor countries. Government has engaged with the United States of America, South Korea, Russia, France, Japan and China.

“These are the countries that have Pressurised Water Reactor nuclear technology, similar to the Koeberg nuclear power plant, situated in the Western Cape,” he said.

Mbambo said as part of the pre-procurement phase and preparation for the roll out of the new nuclear build programme, government had entered into several negotiations with vendor countries and had recently signed Inter-Governmental Framework Agreements with the Russian Federation and France.

“South Africa also has signed agreements with the USA and South Korea. It is envisaged that the Minister of Energy, Hon Tina Joemat-Pettersson, will be signing similar agreements with China during the first week of November 2014 and Japan at a later stage,” he said.

Mbambo said parallel to the meetings and signing of agreements and as part of the preparatory phase, the department planned to hold vendor parade workshops with all the vendor countries that were ready and had accepted the invitation to participate.

“The vendor parade workshops entail vendor countries presenting their nuclear technology offerings. The platform is created for vendor countries to showcase and demonstrate their capabilities on how, if chosen, they plan to meet South Africa’s needs,” he said.

He said the move would assist South Africa in its procurement decision-making process.

The first workshop was expected to be held before the end of October, starting with the Russian Federation.

He said government remained committed to ensuring energy security for the country, through the roll out of the nuclear new build programme as an integral part of the energy mix.

“Government remains committed to ensuring the provision of reliable and sustainable electricity supply, as part of mitigating risk on carbon emissions.

“The nuclear new build programme will enable the country to create jobs, develop skills, create industries, and catapult the country into a knowledge economy,” he said. SAPA


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