Nersa to consider nuclear power plan for South Africa

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa will on Nov. 11 consider approving the procurement of 2,500 megawatts of nuclear power, marking another step toward the expansion of the industry.

The regulator will consider approving a so-called section 34 determination for the program, which enables the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to undertake a bidding process for private producers to build nuclear-power facilities, it said in a Twitter posting outlining the agenda for the meeting.

South Africa, which destroyed its atomic weapons prior to the end of apartheid, already operates Africa’s only nuclear-power plant, the 1,800 megawatt Koeberg facility in Cape Town, as well as the Pelindaba research facility north of Johannesburg.

While the expansion of nuclear power has the support of the ministry and labor unions, it’s opposed by environmentalists and backers of the country’s expanding renewable-energy program.

NuScale Power LLC, a U.S. nuclear-energy firm, has said it will propose small, modular reactors for installation in South Africa. The U.S. International Development Finance Corp. has announced that it will support a bid by NuScale.

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Nersa to consider nuclear power plan for South Africa