South African firm Eskom remains hopeful with nuclear plans
South African firm Eskom has revealed that nuclear energy in Africa will generate over 1,000GW of power by 2050. In recent years, Africa has indicate an international shift towards nuclear power generation and South Africa stands in good stead with its new build plans.
Currently, nuclear energy in Africa is at 396GW of power. However, according to the power utility the figures will be the sum of existing generation plants as well as new developments and market entrants in order to generate the targeted capacity of 1,000GW of power.
Additionally, the current 450 operating commercial nuclear power generation plants in 30 countries will definitely increase in number and size to attain the 1,000GW generating capacity in the African continent.
Meanwhile, 65 nuclear power plants are currently under construction in Africa with an aim to increase nuclear energy contribution in the energy mix of global power from the current 11% to 25%.
Apparently, about 15 countries globally that did not have any nuclear power generation plant are now developing interest to pursue nuclear power strategies. These countries include Nigeria, Egypt, Namibia, Zambia, Ghana, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, Jordan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Turkey.
Koeberg, South Africa’s nuclear power plant located in Cape Town contributes 4% of the country’s power supply. However, the nation has plans to develop additional nuclear power plants to diversify its energy mix to lower carbon emissions as required under the COP21 energy targets as well as generating cheaper electricity and thereby further stimulate the country’s economic growth.
Nuclear generating plants by 2030
South Africa targets to achieve 9.6GW of added nuclear generating plants by 2030. The projects are expected to come online as and when the project can be funded. Nonetheless, the SA government has appointed the Department of Energy as the procuring agent and Eskom as the owner-operator of new nuclear power plants to fulfil the country’s 9.6GW power ambition.
South African firm Eskom has recently launched a programme to train 100 artisans, technicians and engineers as nuclear operators in preparation for the future build and to ensure that the local skills and expertise can successfully and efficiently manage the power plant operations and maintenance. It takes an average of six years to train a nuclear reactor operator.
Conversely, to ensure that the relevant world-class capabilities are developed internally and to deepen knowledge in this key subject matter, South African firm Eskom has committed to enrolling 3 to 5 nuclear engineering PhD candidates every year. The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) has also devoted to support the Eskom.