The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (NIASA) reaffirmed its commitment to South Africa’s nuclear industry at this year’s Africa Energy Indaba.
Through its headline sponsorship of the Nuclear Forum at this year’s indaba, NIASA hopes that this forum will profile opportunities for Africa’s energy security through nuclear, and that it will also help address issues of sustainable financing models, global technical expertise, localization, skills development and job creation.
NIASA supports President Jacob Zuma’s comments on responsible financing of the Nuclear Build Programme for the benefit of the economy.
The organisation hopes that this message is echoed during this year’s Budget Speech and that the financing models on offer be carefully studied and understood so that the Nuclear Build can proceed without any further delay.
With South Africa’s draft Integrated Resource Plan and Integrated Energy Plan; nuclear energy has been put under the spotlight now that Eskom has announced its nuclear Request for Information (RFI).
Speaking at the Africa Energy Indaba, Knox Msebenzi, NIASA Managing Director says that the organization hopes that this Nuclear Forum will encourage attendants, the public and private sectors as well as the media to interrogate the role of nuclear energy in South Africa, and the long-term benefits thereof.
“We believe that our participation in this forum will allow for open and vigorous debate around nuclear energy in South Africa. Pertinent to this is understanding that the budget for the Nuclear Build Programme will be over a prolonged period of time and will not be applied to the fiscus overnight. This is a significantly longer pipeline and while the costs may seem high at first, the cost of the power will be significantly decreased over the operational life time of the plant, which today can be over 60 years. It is especially important that this is understood and the forum will be a platform for this type of engagement.”
“Already our panel on Public Acceptance, Safety and Regulation in Nuclear Power Programmes has raised several points within the safety and regulation of nuclear energy, and it is clear from both the local and international nuclear sectors that South Africa is ready for a Nuclear Build programme. With decades long experience in management of a nuclear power station, as well as an understanding of nuclear’s unique requirements, coupled with detailed planning that has been taking place over recent years, we are equipped and ready for a build programme of this magnitude,” concludes Msebenzi.
The Nuclear Forum is a platform for NIASA to raise the quality of debate on the issues concerning the nuclear industry, and the workshops that will take place post the forum will also provide participants with more information and insights into the nuclear industry from several experts across the engineering, financial and technical interests within nuclear.