France is set to construct eight nuclear reactors in South Africa after signing a $US50 billion ($A54.10 billion) agreement early this week.
The deal likewise stated skills development, localisation of nuclear technology as well as research and development in South Africa, according to World Nuclear News. South Africa currently has two operating nuclear power plants. Located at Koeberg, these were built by Areva, which will also build the same new eight nuclear reactors. The existing facilities have been operating since the mid-1980s.
South Africa’s long-term plans, contained in its 2010 Integrated Electricity Resource Plan, heavily mentioned nuclear energy as its tool of choice as it works to achieve a sustainable energy mix. The country needs up to 9.6 GWe of new nuclear capacity by 2030 as it works towards modernization. South Africa has allocated at least $81 million early this year to be spent on nuclear research and development.
In September, the country also signed with Russia a US$50 billion (A$54.1 billion) deal for eight nuclear reactors by 2030. A deal with China of the same nature is also expected to be signed in November, according to Bloomberg. A plan with Japan is also being worked out.
South Africa had stipulated it will sign agreements with other global nuclear vendor countries in order to achieve its goal of 9.6 GWe of new nuclear capacity.
“South Africa today, as never before, is interested in the massive development of nuclear power, which is an important driver for the national economy growth,” Joemat-Pettersson earlier said.
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