Thursday, June 7, 2012

South Africa tries again to expand its nuclear program

This time Eskom wants vendors to self-finance

Eskom infrastructureSouth Africa wants to capitalize a nuclear energy manufacturing industry on top of a 9 GWe program to build new reactors. Energy Minister Dipuo Peters wants to achieve both objectives with funding from reactor vendors.

Her business model is likely to be one that guarantees rates for at least 15 years and will pay back the cost of the plants and position them for local investor ownership.

She told wire services June 4 that South Africa will make its decisions on reactor technologies, a short list of suppliers, and the procurement process by the end of the year.

To get there, Peters wants to “localize” manufacturing of the complex components of building a new nuclear reactor and beef up South Africa’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle.

Peters told a nuclear energy conference held in Sandton, S.A., in late May that the nation’s ambitions are for a bigger share of the pie than just “digging trenches and pouring concrete.”

Read the full story at ANS Nuclear Café online now.

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