If SA continued with nuclear programme, we wouldn’t have load shedding - expert

Knox Msebenzi said at least half, if not more, of the 24 gigawatts of coal-fired energy to be decommissioned by 2050 should be replaced by nuclear power.

FILE: The government’s controversial plans for a nuclear build programme that would have added 9,600mw to the grid were halted by a 2017 court case. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - If South Africa had continued with its nuclear programme after commissioning Koeberg in 1984, the country would not have had to endure load shedding.

That’s the view of Knox Msebenzi, managing director of the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa.

Msebenzi was taking part in a webinar hosted by the National Press Club earlier on Wednesday.

READ: Eskom says no load shedding today after 4 units return to service

The government’s controversial plans for a nuclear build programme that would have added 9,600mw to the grid were halted by a 2017 court case.

Recently, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy issued a request for information (RFI) relating to building nuclear capacity of 2,500mw.

Msebenzi said at least half, if not more, of the 24 gigawatts of coal-fired energy to be decommissioned by 2050 should be replaced by nuclear power.

READ: SA kicks off preparations for nuclear build programme

He said if South Africa had continued with its nuclear programme, the country would be “sitting pretty”.

“In fact, if we had continued with our nuclear programme after commissioning Koeberg after 1984, South Africans would never have known the vocabulary of load shedding, because we would have had reliable energy 24/7.”

Dr Rebecca Maserumule of the Department of Science and Innovation told the webinar that analysis by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) estimated the cost to the economy of rolling blackouts over 10 years from 2007 could be as high as R338 billion.

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