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Eskom trains nearly 100 new recruits to operate nuclear plant

This move forms part of the power utility's drive to train and develop black artisans and engineers.

Eskom's Koeberg Power Station. Picture: Eskom.

CAPE TOWN - Eskom is training nearly a hundred recruits to operate a nuclear plant as South Africa eyes a 9,600 Megawatt nuclear build programme.

The five-year training programme was launched at the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station today.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says the project will boost the careers of artisans and engineers from impoverished backgrounds.

Brown says nuclear power is South Africa's "most reliable source of electricity".

"When all our plants go down, there's still Koeberg's nuclear plant."

Koeberg General Manager Riedewaan Bakardien says it takes a large team to operate the plant's two 900 Megawatt reactors.

"You need a minimum of 22 to 23 operators, another 40 reactor operators and approximately 100 plant operators."

Bakardien says the new power plants government is hoping to build by 2030, would need hundreds more skilled professionals.

Eskom Chairman Ben Ngubane says the nuclear energy industry will create jobs for the youth.

"For the country, it provides an opportunity to build additional capacity while providing minimal impact to the environment. For the youth, it provides a new beacon of hope in terms of new opportunities."

Eskom regards this initiative as a notable skills development and transformation milestone.