The public enterprises minister, Lynne Brown, announced the establishment of a nuclear engineering centre that will form part of the Eskom Power Plant Engineering Institute (EPPEI) Phase Two programme, which is due to run from 2017 to 2021.
“Eskom will establish a specialisation centre focusing on nuclear engineering and technology. The specialisation centre will have a dedicated director and partnership with reputable international universities,” she said.
Speaking at a conference hosted in Johannesburg, the minster underscored that South Africa only has two options for baseload and mid-merit operations to manage electricity system requirements, that being coal and nuclear. She conceded that there has been debate on the current and future costs of coal and nuclear.
It is, however, projected that future cost comparisons will shift in favour of nuclear given increasing coal-fired plant costs associated with more stringent emission limits and the introduction of carbon taxes. The minister further highlighted that nuclear offers one of the cheapest sources of electricity, which comes with zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Source: ESI Africa