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South Africa signs $10 billion nuclear deal with Russia

‘South Africa and Russia have signed an intergovernmental agreement on strategic partnership and cooperation in the nuclear industry.

The agreement lays the foundation for South Africa’s large-scale nuclear power plant procurement and development program based on the construction of Russian VVER reactors with a total installed capacity of up to 9.6 GW, or up to eight units, Rosatom said. The reactors will be the first based on the Russian technology to be built on the African continent, it said.

The agreement also provides for “comprehensive collaboration” in other areas, including construction of a Russian-technology based multipurpose research reactor; assistance in the development of a South-African nuclear power infrastructure; and the training of South African nuclear specialists at Russian universities and elsewhere, Rosatom said.

Joint implementation of the program “implies a broad localization” of equipment for the new nuclear power plants, which will provide for the brand-new development of various South-African high-tech industries, contribute to the creation of new highly skilled workplaces, and will allow South-African companies to further participate in Rosatom’s projects in third countries.

“I am convinced that, in cooperation with Russia, South Africa will gain all the necessary competencies for the implementation of this large-scale national nuclear energy development program,” Kirienko said.

From the very start, the cooperation will be aimed at providing the conditions for creation of thousands of new jobs and placement of a “considerable order” to local industrial enterprises worth at least $10 billion, he said.

Joemat-Pettersson said that South Africa is “interested as never before in the massive development” of nuclear power, which is an important driver for the country’s national economic growth.

“I am sure that cooperation with Russia will allow us to implement our ambitious plans for the creation by 2030 of 9.6 GW of new nuclear [power] capacities based on modern and safe technologies. This agreement opens up the door for the Republic of South Africa to access Russian technologies, funding, infrastructure, and provides proper and solid platform for future extensive collaboration.”

Xolisa Mabhongo of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) was quoted by Reuters as saying, “There will be a South African procurement process of course. There will be other inter-government agreements signed.” South African officials told the news agency that the bidding process would be completed by mid-2015 before any final contracts are signed.’

Report By WNN -World Nuclear News (Source Link)