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Thread: S.A goes big on nuclear

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  1. #1
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    Post S.A goes big on nuclear

    http://www.iol.co.za/business/busine...lear-1.1252400

    Johannesburg - South Africa will come to the rescue of a nuclear industry, still struggling for customers a year after Japan's Fukushima disaster, with a tender for one of the world's biggest atomic power deals.

    Firms from France, the United States, Japan, South Korea, China and Russia have been lining up for years for a chance to win the contract worth between 400 billion rand ($52.3 billion) and a trillion rand($130.8 billion).

    Chances to build reactors have grown fewer after the Fukushima accident, with many developed states trying to wean themselves off nuclear.

    “It has become close to a buyers market and not a sellers market, which it was before Fukushima,” said H. Holger Rogner, section head of the International Atomic Energy Agency's planning and economic studies section.

    South African officials expect to open the bidding in the next few months for 9,600 megawatts of nuclear power - or about the normal output of six reactors. Africa's largest economy is operating on razor thin electricity margins and needs the power to grow its energy-intensive mining sector and manufacturing.

    Potential bidders are likely to include Areva, EDF, Toshiba's Westinghouse Electric Corp, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, South Korea's Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) and Russia's Rosatom.

    In a budget proposal released last month, South Africa penciled in 300 billion rand for the nuclear build, but the figure was just the start, energy minister Dipuo Peters said.

    “It's not a thumb suck and we don't actually say that is the end amount, but we believe that it is the beginning,” she said.

    Even though the amount is enormous for a country with an economy the size of South Africa's, analysts said financing should be readily available. The technology of the plants is established as well as the revenue they produce. South Africa, with a stable economy, is seen as a reliable borrower.

    Factors that could increase cost competition include an export push by Japan's two major nuclear firms, Toshiba and Hitachi Ltd, who face a moratorium on new construction at home.

    “(Fukushima) has made them more ambitious to go global. They have government support to go overseas. It is an export growth strategy for Japanese industry,” said Will Pearson, energy analyst at the Eurasia Group political risk consultancy.

    South Korea has also emerged as a nuclear export power. The United Arab Emirates has awarded a deal for $20 billion, that could be worth up to $40 billion over its lifetime, to a South Korean consortium to build and operate four nuclear reactors.

    South Africa, with an unemployment rate of about 25 percent, wants to see nuclear as a generator of job growth. as well as electricity. It is already home to the 1,800 MW Koeberg plant outside Cape Town, the continent's only nuclear station.

    The government hopes it could produce specialised products that could be sold to reactor makers elsewhere.

    It also wants to find jobs for the hundreds of employees at its prototype, experimental reactor that was closed down in 2010 due to funding and technology problems.

    The government aims to develop a plant for uranium enrichment for nuclear fuel. It voluntarily dismantled its nuclear weapons programme in the early 1990s.

    There are worries about how Johannesburg will manage the bid, which will be its largest overseas purchase since an arms deal about a decade ago that led to several of its officials being convicted of receiving bribes.

    President Jacob Zuma, then in a different government post, was also charged but not convicted.

    “Given that the shadow of arms deal corruption continues to darken our democracy, government should be extra careful about the nuclear build programme,” said Lance Greyling, a leading politician with the opposition Democratic Alliance.

    South Africa will be pushing to have the first megawatts come online by 2024. Unlike Japan, it has few earthquakes and its plants are likely to be built well inland, away from coasts and any tsunami threat.

    It hopes to avoid a repeat of a power crisis that brought industry to its knees in early 2008 and shut mines.

    “The marching orders that we have from the minister is that (it should be done) by the end of this year,” Ditebogo Kgomo, the government's nuclear director, told Reuters.

    The last attempt to build a new nuclear plant, led by state power utility Eskom, was scrapped in 2008 due to funding woes.

    French utility EDF said in February it planned to bid in a possible partnership with Areva and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp. South Africa dismissed comments it told EDF to bid along with the Chinese. - Reuters
    Why after the entire developed world is trying to break AWAY from Nuclear power, is SA investing TRILLIONS into it??? Just another example of "The world turns right and SA goes left!"
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    FFFFFFFFUUUUUUuuuuuuuuu!

    A contract worth between R400billion and a trillion rand? We have that kind of money to spend on Nuclear Power now?
    SO WHERE WAS THAT CASH WHEN WE HAD A GREAT NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM?!?

    PBMR was scrapped due to lack of funds - Westinghouse screwed us over, and then Eskom dropped us. PBMR is a SAFE and INNOVATIVE method of Nuclear Power Generation - but noooooooooo. We'd rather build old-school, dangerous, conventional heavy-water reactors like Koeberg that take up 10x the space and are waaaaay less efficient.

    This makes me so angry. Instead of tendering to foreign countries/companies to build unsafe and outdated technologies, rather revive the PBMR project!! GRRRRR.

  3. #3
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    AniV, I'm not sure what the real reasons are for scrapping PBMR, but apparently the funding ran out before they could resolve all technical issues. Yes, it's a pity.

    But at least we're making the right decision to go nuclear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    AniV, I'm not sure what the real reasons are for scrapping PBMR, but apparently the funding ran out before they could resolve all technical issues. Yes, it's a pity.

    But at least we're making the right decision to go nuclear.
    Surely NOT?!!?!?!?
    Luck is not random; it is attracted to those who work hard. Sweat, Blood and tears are the ingredients of a champion - Mike Tyson

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    " Ya, no no no, we'll get you there! But, we; we just...just ya, thet wey!No we'll get u there.but thet wey"

    To quote Trevor Noah.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveO View Post
    " Ya, no no no, we'll get you there! But, we; we just...just ya, thet wey!No we'll get u there.but thet wey"

    To quote Trevor Noah.....
    Yea thats what i though of while reading this article
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by carstensdj View Post
    Surely NOT?!!?!?!?
    Nuclear power is the best form of power generation as it is the best compromise when taking all factors into account - cost, capacity, environment, etc.

    Don't let the few nuclear disasters that occurred fool you. Those occurred because the proper precautions weren't taken.
    ಠ_ಠ
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hoxbig View Post
    Don't let the few nuclear disasters that occurred fool you. Those occurred because the proper precautions weren't taken.
    And you expect our lovely, competent government to take the proper precautions and prevent a catastrophe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirSlothXCI View Post
    And you expect our lovely, competent government to take the proper precautions and prevent a catastrophe?
    Governments can't prevent disaster - they create them. If we go with responsible suppliers (not Chinese or Russian) we'll be sure to get decent technology and safety. Eskom as operator will need to skill and scale up, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirSlothXCI View Post
    And you expect our lovely, competent government to take the proper precautions and prevent a catastrophe?
    Obviously not. They've already demonstrated their moronic incompetence by choosing Heavy Water reactors over newer, better, safer, more efficient technologies.

    As for PBMR - I was working there when the big mess hit. Westinghouse really did screw us over, leaving Eskom and a few other investors to foot the bill. They couldn't afford it, and work was shut down on the most promising nuclear technology of the last 4 decades. Sigh. If only everybody knew as much about the PBMR and how it operates in comparison with a conventional heavy water reactor...

    The world is having a knee-jerk reaction to Fukushima. There was a similar backlash after Chernobyl - mostly inspired by political pressure and fear-quelling posturing. In the end, people will realise that nuclear is still the best way to go. However, this whole trend of moving "away from nuclear" that the OP is referring to is probably because of the number of very old, outdated, starting-to-become-unsafe-to-continue-operating conventional nuclear reactors that have been shut down around the world as they reach their end-of-life (and some not quite there yet).

  11. #11

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    Surely NOT?!!?!?!?
    Almost all our current popular ways of generating power incur human costs. Some of those costs occur frequently and regularly, but have a relatively low human cost that adds up over time (eg coal), and some of those costs occur infrequently but have a higher human cost over a shorter period (eg nuclear).

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    Quote Originally Posted by zolly View Post
    Almost all our current popular ways of generating power incur human costs. Some of those costs occur frequently and regularly, but have a relatively low human cost that adds up over time (eg coal), and some of those costs occur infrequently but have a higher human cost over a shorter period (eg nuclear).
    Mmmm... Not a bad point! Still not sure about going Nuclear when the leading nations aren't, but not a bad point to consider...

    Surely going the natural route minimizes costs even further? In the same breathe though, i guess you wouldn't have half the amount of job creation as you would with Nuclear...
    Luck is not random; it is attracted to those who work hard. Sweat, Blood and tears are the ingredients of a champion - Mike Tyson

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    But at least we're making the right decision to go nuclear.
    You're obviously high. Nothing good has ever come from anything nuclear.

  14. #14

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    Why after the entire developed world is trying to break AWAY from Nuclear power, is SA investing TRILLIONS into it??? Just another example of "The world turns right and SA goes left!"
    Don't believe all the media hype that nuclear is more dangerous than other types of power generation. I think the US is doing something right with it's research and exploration of sustainable power sources such as wind and solar energy, but I think Germany is being retarded with it's complete shut down on nuclear power. Fukushima was a freak accident, and despite this barely anyone died.

    http://asiancorrespondent.com/53036/...ma-death-toll/

    Now I'm not saying there aren't going to be problems because of the radiation, but the exact costs of that has yet to be defined.

    But at least we're making the right decision to go nuclear.
    I agree.

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    what is exactly wrong with nuclear power?

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