SA needs new nuclear plants urgently: Eskom chief

SA needs new nuclear plants urgently: Eskom chief

Eskom chief operating officer Brian Molefe said on Wednesday it was both urgent and feasible for South Africa to obtain more nuclear plants.

Brian Molefe
Gallo Images

“We think that a nuclear programme is feasible in South Africa because nuclear plants typically have a life of beyond 60 years and the payback period, irrespective of what the amount is, typically is about 20 years,” he told Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises.

“So it is feasible to fund and operate further nuclear plants in South Africa and in fact it is urgent that we do so.”

Molefe was responding to questions from MPs about government’s plans to procure additional nuclear energy capacity to add a projected 9,600 megawatts to the country’s electricity grid by 2030.

There have been warnings from the opposition, as well as the authors of the National Development Plan, that the country could not afford the cost, which has been estimated as up to R1 trillion.

Molefe repeated that for the foreseeable future South Africa would not experience load-shedding after a run of 50 consecutive days without outages.

He said this was despite extensive maintenance being conducted at several plants, and more scheduled for the upcoming holiday season.

“Until April 30, we do not anticipate loadshedding.” - ANA

(File photo: Gallo Images)

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