- In August this year South Africa’s energy regulator, NERSA, approved the government’s plans to procure 2500MW capacity from nuclear technology which confirmed that new build nuclear is firmly back on the table in South Africa.
- At the time, the regulator said they would provide reasons at a ‘later date’.
- Nersa has now published the reasons behind its decision to approve the 2 500MW of new build nuclear power.
- They cite base-load callenges with renewables plus nuclear can replace base-load supply currently provided by coal-fired power plants.
Eskom applied for two Nuclear Installation Site License (NISL) back in 2016. One for Duynefontyn, just north of the existing Koeberg Nuclear Power Station north of Melkbosstrand, and the second for Thyspunt, a rocky stretch of coast about 12kms from Cape Saint Francis, west of Thysbaai beach and south-east of Oyster Bay. Read more
NERSA has communicated that Nuclear new build in necessary to replace base-load supply currently provided by coal-fired power plants which are due to be decomissioned. This is critical to SA’s planned re-industrialisation which which includes things like upping the country’s steel production and boosting domestic vehicle production exlained NERSA.
“If South Africa is to realise its industrialisation goals envisaged in the National Development Plan 2030, reliable base-load supply will be an indispensable ingredient to drive the economy and to secure the country’s competitiveness on a global scale, ” said NERSA.
“It is for this reason that base-load supply needs to be maintained on the grid to protect industrial sector jobs that make up at least 22.31% of the South African workforce.”
Nersa said that, in its view, renewable energy could not effectively “match base-load demand” as output varies throughout the year.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal