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Koeberg nuclear plant components can run beyond 2045, say experts

An upgrade at the power station is currently underway to ensure that it can run beyond its decommission date of 2024.

FILE: The Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, about 30km from the centre of Cape Town. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Energy experts at Koeberg's nuclear power station said that much of the plant components could run until the year 2045.

An upgrade at the power station is currently underway to ensure that it can run beyond its decommission date of 2024.

Power utility Eskom said that a comprehensive safety assessment was in process, in line with stipulated National Nuclear Regulator regulations.

Chief nuclear officer Riedewaan Bakardien said that the biggest components needing to be replaced were the steam generators, coupled with normal maintenance of other components at the plant.

"To extend the life of the plant we have to get the operating licence extended and that will be in conjunction with the National Nuclear Regulator, who would need to give that approval."

Bakardien said they also needed to provide details of the resources needed to run the project.

"The studies even require confirming that we've got skills, resources and people available and trained to be able to go for safe long-term operation."