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Energy Dept to start work on nuclear build programme roadmap soon, MPs told

The Integrated Resource Plan that was released last year (IRP2019) included nuclear as part of the energy mix the country would need, saying that it would be procured at a scale and pace the country could afford.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe at a media briefing on the coronavirus on 25 March 2020 in Pretoria. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliament has been told that work will start soon on mapping the way for South Africa to procure 2,500 megawatts of nuclear power.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and a team from his department have been briefing the National Assembly’s oversight committee.

The Integrated Resource Plan that was released last year (IRP2019) included nuclear as part of the energy mix the country would need, saying that it would be procured at a scale and pace the country could afford.

The director-general of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, Thabo Mokoena, said that work on a roadmap for a new nuclear build programme would start soon.

He was briefing a virtual meeting of Parliament’s Mineral Resources and Energy portfolio committee on Thursday afternoon.

"The IRP2019 states that preparations must commence for the nuclear build programme, adding 2,500MW, as this is a no-regret option in the long-term."

Mokoena went further: "This will be done with small modular reactors, that will take into account the pace and also the scale that the country can afford."

Mokoena said that work on the plan would start soon: "The market will be tested for robust costing and also funding options (for) nuclear generation. The development of the roadmap for 2,500MW nuclear new build programme will be commencing soon while an oversight monitoring plan for the Koeberg life-extension programme is also being developed."