Brown: Nuclear build programme must be financially sustainable

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says she has not yet received any information on the socio-economic impacts of a new nuclear power station.

FILE: Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says any nuclear build programme the country embarks on must be based on credible information and be financially sustainable.

Speaking at the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station on Thursday, Brown said she had not yet received any information on the socio-economic impacts of a new nuclear power station.

She says making decisions about the country's future energy mix is more complex than deciding whether to opt for nuclear or renewable energy.

An economic assessment of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, carried out by KPMG, has revealed the station is expected to contribute R27 billion to the gross domestic product of the Western Cape between 2017 and 2020, and a further R23 billion to the greater South African economy.

It will also provide 2,300 direct and 42,000 indirect jobs over the next three years.

Brown says it's important to understand the economic impact of the country's power stations.

“For me, what's important now is not proving whether nuclear is preferable to coal, or renewables to gas. The energy mix is a matter of national policy. What’s important is understanding the complexity of the journey and just how much is on the line.”

Eskom acting chief executive Matshela Koko says it's not Eskom's intention to retire any of its power stations.

Last year, the Eskom board resolved to extend the life of its stations from 50 to 60 years.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)