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7 reasons why nuclear is huge business

Nuclear Physicist Dr Kelvin Kemm explains why nuclear could be good for SA’s economy.

Nuclear Physicist and CEO of Nuclear Africa Dr Kelvin Kemm. Picture: Joshua Carstens/702.

JOHANNESBURG - Nuclear energy may be the next big thing for South Africa's building industry after the FIFA World Cup. While boosting the economy, it could also boost the country's power supply.

Nuclear Physicist and CEO of Nuclear Africa Dr Kelvin Kemm explains:

1 - Government wants 9,000 extra megawatts of nuclear energy, over and above Koeberg's 2,000, which means around three new power stations. The site selection process for these is already nearing completion.

2 - The new stations could provide 3,000 megawatts each, meaning more power for the country as a whole.

3 - The budget for building these stations will be at least R300 billion. Most of that will likely go back into the local economy.

4 - We are one of the world's oldest nuclear countries with more than 65 years of experience.

5 - There are opportunities for dozens of companies. You don't need to be a big, multimillion rand company to get involved in nuclear. If you're good at what you do, you will succeed.

6 - Getting started now and supplying the international market with parts will prepare companies for the local market when construction begins. This will simply add to the economic rewards.

7 - South Africa is the gateway to the rest of Africa for nuclear plant construction. Another 21 countries on the continent have expressed their interest in nuclear. The opportunities to supply parts, services and skills are endless.

Kemm says there must be a stringent selection process to ensure safety and quality control, as well as sustainable, long-term relationships between government and the companies involved. As long as that is ensured, the industry will prosper.