Nuclear power isn’t the answer to the world’s energy problems, in my humble opinion (which is admittedly not speaking from the most educated point of view on the topic). I also, humbly and as uneducatedly, would venture to say its definitely not the answer to SA’s energy problems.
A study done for the New National Planning Commission (NPC) has stated that nuclear power should be delayed because current modeling suggests the country will only require nuclear power as late as 2040 or as early at 2029. This new information will be included in the updated Integrated Resource Plan for the country and will very likely start a heated debate on the topic between government, the public and industry.
On the one hand the Energy Department’s director-general Nelisiwe Magubane says that cabinet will not back down on the nuclear build program. On the other hand, the study by the NPC shows that energy demand has been low because of slow economic growth and rising energy costs so no extra capacity is needed. It also stated that is doesn’t favour nuclear power for future capacity needs because of, among other reasons, the rising costs of building nuclear power plants. It states that alternative low emission, renewable sources (solar, thermal, wind and gas) could be installed in less time and cost.
Maybe all the red tape and the delay in finally making a decision will allow the price of renewables to drop further and the price of goal/nuclear to rise to a point where the choice will end up being purely economically slanted towards renewables? One can hope 🙂