Energy Minister David Mahlobo said “South Africa’s decision to go ahead with plans to introduce nuclear power is based on ensuring the energy supply going into the future”
“South Africa recognizes the role of nuclear power in meeting the challenge of climate change and ensuring the security of energy supply. We promote an energy mix of gas, coal, renewable and nuclear. Each of these options has their role; some of the energy sources are intermittent supply and while others, such as coal and nuclear, are base-load supply,” said Minister Mahlobo.
At the 44th Policy Group Meeting of Generation IV, International Forum Minister Mahlobo said that South Africa’s key driver to the policy decision for nuclear power is based on the economics of the energy source.
“At the moment, Koeberg is one of our lowest cost electricity sources, and generation III nuclear power plants remain a good economic choice for South Africa. Generation IV nuclear power plants improved economics and the country looks forward to deploying such advanced energy systems for its development,” he said.
Koeberg which is in Cape Town is the only nuclear power station on the African continent.
A positive record was issued by The Department of Environmental Affairs for Eskom to proceed with an Environmental Impact Assessment into the suitability of the same site to host 4000 MW of nuclear-generated electricity.
He stated that the country has accumulated extensive experience in nuclear power generation and nuclear technology development.
About 6% of the South African energy mix is Nuclear – with Koeberg supplying 800 megawatts of electricity to the national grid.
The approved Integrated Resource Plan of 2010-30 provides for gas, coal, renewable and 9600 megawatts nuclear as part of the energy landscape by 2030.
He added that one of the most important facets of nuclear power is its safety.