South Africa has to go nuclear: Minister

South Africa will continue to build on the success of Koeberg nuclear power station, as the power plant boasts some of the best nuclear scientists and physicists in the world.

“We simply have to go the nuclear route,” said Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, “because we don’t have enough freshwater. Koeberg recycles 22bn litres of seawater, while Medupi (coal-fired) power station uses 17bn litres of freshwater.”

Joemat-Pettersson was one of the speakers debating President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address in the National Assembly of parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

She kept mum on the timeframe and cost of procuring nuclear energy, but instead focused on the successes of South Africa’s Independent Power Producers (IPP) and renewable energy programmes.

“The IPP programme, Mr President, is your legacy; it was started by you,” Joemat-Pettersson said.

According to her South Africa has been offering an attractive market for investment in renewable energy. “We’re ranked consistently as one of the global leaders in the renewable energy sector and South Africa is a sought-after investment destination in this field.”

Significant investment will also take place in the gas to power programme. “We’ll see R64bn of investment in this sector over the next four to five years,” Joemat-Pettersson said.

Fin24

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South Africa has to go nuclear: Minister