Details on SA/Russia nuclear deal emerge

The nuclear deal seems to bind SA financially & holds the country liable for accidents at power plants.

FILE: Russian President Vladimir Putin hugs South Africa President Jacob Zuma. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Shocking details have emerged about the South African/Russian nuclear deal, which seems to bind South Africa financially and holds the country liable for accidents at power plants.

The Mail & Guardian is this morning reporting that although the nuclear deal has not been sent to Parliament, a sub clause allows the agreement to be implemented without going through the regular channels of law making.

On Thursday night, President Jacob Zuma reaffirmed the nation's commitment to nuclear power during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) but he said an open process would be followed.

It's being reported that a nuclear deal with Russia will release the suppliers from any liability arising from accidents.

This means South Africa will be responsible for any and all damage.

Russia will also apparently have special treatment when it comes to tax while South Africa will not.

The agreement is due to run for a minimum of 20 years but will in effect give Russia the right to block its partner from appointing anyone else to work on the same project.

Another concern is that South Africa will have to ask for permission to export any nuclear technology it harnesses once its power plants are up and running.

Government is yet to respond.