South Africa’s Cabinet is “poised to make a decision” on the way forward soon, the head of the country’s atomic energy company commented in a recent interview on Johannesburg-based Talk Radio 702.
“It will go ahead – we do not have an option,” Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA) chief executive officer, Phumzile Tshelane, stated. The country’s two choices to increase continuous power are coal and nuclear, as other methods are not viable given the deteriorating climate, he said.
The country has signed nuclear cooperation accords with Russia, China, France, the United States of America, Japan and South Korea. It’s awaiting signature of a similar agreement with Canada, Tshelane said. NECSA’s role is to advise the government and to process uranium, he said.
Areva SA, EDF SA, Toshiba Corp.’s Westinghouse Electric Corp. unit, ChinaGuangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corp., Korea Electric Power Corp. and Rosatom Corp. have expressed interest in building the new plants. Price-tag estimates for as many as eight reactors range from $37 billion to $100 billion.