Russia to train nuclear industry experts for SA

Russia’s State Nuclear Power Corporation, Rosatom has decided to start training nuclear industry specialists for South Africa

 Rosatom is planning to bid for the construction of nuclear power plants in South Africa.  Rusatom Overseas, a Rosatom branch that specialises in the promotion of the corporation’s projects abroad, says it had signed a memorandum of co-operation with the North West University, the only school of higher learning that offers training in nuclear technologies.

 The memorandum envisions the development of collaboration programmes, including in research, exchanges of experts, joint seminars and the writing of textbooks. The list of specific projects will be drawn up by a bilateral task force.

 Rector of the Potchefstroom Campus of the North West University, Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk said: “We are pleased to announce the signing of the MoU with our Russian colleagues. We recognise that nuclear energy remains an important option for South Africa.

 “The intention is to explore the potential for future collaboration, ranging from education to specific technical projects in nuclear engineering, hydrogen technologies, energy, etc.”

 Jomart Aliyev, the Director General of Rusatom Overseas, said: “The memorandum offers great opportunities. On the one hand, it will promote the development of technical education in South Africa. On the other hand, [it will promote the] possibility to find out more about modern Russian technologies and joint research and scientific developments will provide a solid foundation for the development of Rosatom’s business relations in South Africa.”

 South Africa’s Koeberg nuclear plant is the only nuclear power-generating facility on the African continent. The government plans to build new plants with a total capacity of 9 GW.

 Russian President Vladimir Putin after meeting his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma in Sochi in May, said that Russia was ready to assist South Africa in building up a comprehensive nuclear power engineering industry.

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