South Africa: Integrated Resource Plan - Nuclear Has to Be Part of a Robust Energy Mix in the Future

South Africa's Koeberg plant outside Cape Town is Africa's only nuclear power station so far.

It is clearly stated in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019 that 24 gigawatts of decommissioned coal power will be replaced by clean energy technologies that include nuclear. If Eskom had been allowed to build new capacity when it predicted a crisis, South Africa would not have experienced devastating load shedding.

With regard to the Opinionista article by Liz McDaid in Business Maverick of 19 November 2020 titled "Connecting the dots: Red lights are flashing over what appears to be nuclear-by-stealth", it is necessary to restate some of the dots (facts) so the reader can connect for themselves and interpret the picture they see.

In the IRP 2019, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) clearly states that it is committed to "a diversified energy mix that reduces reliance on a single or a few primary energy sources". The plan is to reduce the dependence on coal by decommissioning 24GW of capacity in the planning period of 2030 to 2050, taking into consideration developments in the international space and the need for adequate preparation. Policy Decision 8 clearly states: "Commence preparations for a nuclear build programme to the extent of 2,500 megawatts at a pace and scale that the...

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