By Bev Mortimer
World leaders in the field of nuclear build were in attendance at the Nuclear Africa 2017 conference in Midrand last week (28-31 March) to promote their building expertise in the field of nuclear, in the event that South Africa’s nuclear programme goes ahead.
South Africa has not yet chosen a preferred contender for the building of the proposed nuclear site at Thyspunt, 10 kms from St Francis Bay – the first of three on the proposed South African nuclear build programme. Despite anticipation for an announcement,
no one publicly indicated in their presentations that the nuclear programme would definitely go ahead. At the Midrand conference, Loyisho Tyabashe, GM, acting New Build from Eskom, related that the announcement of whether the nuclear programme will go ahead is anticipated to be in April 2018.
There are at least five countries contending for the nuclear Build programme including France, Russia, China and Korea. Representatives from these four presented their bids to delegates at the conference, who included government officials, nuclear experts and physicians, construction companies from abroad and locally, plus vendors of nuclear services and products related to a nuclear build industry.
Also in attendance were top representatives in the field of nuclear in the world, including the director general of the World nuclear Association, Agneta Rising, from Sweden and Peter Prozesky, CEO of WANO (World Association of Nuclear Operators), a non-profit organisation that unites every company and country in the world, which has an operating commercial nuclear power plant, to achieve the highest possible standards of nuclear safety. South Africa has been a member of WANO since the late 70s.
Dr Agneta Rising, director general of the World Nuclear Association, at Midrand.
Meanwhile the new South African Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, was reported earlier this morning, 2 April, as saying South Africa’s nuclear programme will be implemented at a pace and scale the fiscus and the country can afford,
“I don’t think we will or should try to be reckless about this. The issue of funding model and the technology for it are yet to be finalised,” Gigaba was reported as saying.
Meanwhile the anti-nuclear Thyspunt Alliance, has stated that it will challenge the building of a nuclear power plant at Thyspunt in court, if necessary.
St Francis Chronicle will be publishing highlights of the main speakers at the conference in the near future.
Photos: Bev Mortimer