‘SA doesn’t have time or money for new nuclear plant’

Wasanga Mehana spoke to Winkler from the University of Johannesburg.

  • A new nuclear plant would take too long to build and cost too much to be a viable option
  • Expanding the life of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant is still a better option
Eskom's Koeberg nuclear power station in Cape Town, South Africa. © hijackhippo/123rf.com

Winkler said a new nuclear power plant would take too long to build and simply be too expensive to pursue.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to build anything new. We’re looking at a time period of 10 years construction and then we’ll be looking at how to finance the cost of that.

Hartmut Winkler, energy analyst – University of Johannesburg

Winkler said expanding the life of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, which first started operating in 1984, would be a more viable option than passing the cost on to future generations.

We need money for many other things and I think a nuclear plants sound too much like a vanity project and there’s very few places elsewhere in the world where they’re still building nuclear plants.

Hartmut Winkler, energy analyst – University of Johannesburg

Koeberg’s nuclear licence expires in 2024.

Its shortfalls include refurbishment and upgrade, which will allow it to operate for another 20 years.

But Winkler said that it was clear that continuing to pursue nuclear is foolhardy.

South Africa should be following the global trend, he added.

Ten years ago, solar and wind were not nearly as cheap as they are now… and it’s something this country has a lot of potential for but has hardly started exploiting.

Hartmut Winkler, energy analyst – University of Johannesburg

This article first appeared on 702 : ‘SA doesn’t have time or money for new nuclear plant’

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