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Eskom Gets Submissions for Building SA’s Nuclear Plant

Eskom has gotten the attention of  27 organizations giving data about their capacities to construct SA’s proposed up and coming era of nuclear power plants, the utility said on Wednesday. Among those who showed interest to Eskom’s request for information are China’s SNPTC, France’s EDF Energy, Russia’s Rusatom Overseas and South Korea’s KEPCO.

Eskom’s interim group CEO Matshela Koko said that “Eskom is looking forward to the information supplied to confirm our understanding of the key issues that impact the timing and affordability of a nuclear programme”. Eskom indicated that the submissions did not commit any of the companies to submit a response to any potential future requests.

Eskom issued the request for information in December and asked companies that felt they could provide relevant information to confirm their intention to do by 10.30am on Tuesday, January 31. The 27 companies will have to submit a response to Eskom by April 28 on their capabilities to build the proposed nuclear power plants.

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Last month Eskom dismissed claims that it had “usurped” the nuclear procurement from the Energy Department. The claims, made in an affidavit by Earthlife Africa’s Johannesburg branch co-ordinator Makoma Lekalakala, were submitted to the Western Cape High Court.

The affidavit was meant to support the case brought by the anti-nuclear lobby group and the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute to have certain determinations made by Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson declared unlawful and unconstitutional. One of these was the 2016 determination that designates Eskom — and not the Energy Department — as the procurer of 9,600MW from new nuclear energy plants.

The department indicated in its integrated resource plan that only 1,359MW of nuclear power would be added to the country’s energy mix by 2037 instead of the previous date of 2023. It also sought to confirm that renewable energy would form a large part of the energy mix.

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