Ahead of the release of a Request for Proposal (RFP), the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation of Russia hosted a media contingent on a trip to Hungary, where the company has not only built and maintained nuclear reactors for the last thirty years, but is also financing and building a new fleet to meet the country’s future energy requirements.
Rosatom believes its involvement in Hungary is a blueprint for the model that could be used in South Africa’s future nuclear development when it comes to the type of technology, operating model and financing arrangement that can be deployed.
Koeberg, also a pressurised water reactor (PWR) as the ones in Hungary, is following a similar model and has been safely owned and operated by Eskom since its construction in the 1980s by Areva’s predecessor, Framatome. According to Eskom, Koeberg currently provides the cheapest electricity in the country. So if nuclear will be implemented on a large scale as envisaged by the government’s existing road map, the question is, will it be as cost-effective in relation to the other alternatives currently on offer?