South Africa government denies progress on nuke plants

Reports of a tender process being under way for six new nuclear power plants are wrong, says South Africa's Department of Energy.

"At no point has the Government committed to build six new nuclear reactors," it said.

The Government "hasn't selected any design, vendor nor suppliers of the nuclear power plants.

"No decision has been made on the actual number."

South Africa plans to diversify away from coal, which makes up more than 90 per cent of its generation capacity of about 40,000MW.

It also aims to prevent a repeat of outages in 2008 that temporarily shut most of the mines and smelters.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has proposed a strategy for the roll-out of new nuclear power plants to the Cabinet, the ministry said.

The Government approved plans to boost its nuclear energy capacity by 9.6 electrical GW, it said.

Safety concerns following the meltdown of nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan, prompted Peters to postpone the opening of the bids until next year.

The country has one nuclear power plant near Cape Town and an atomic research station near Pretoria.

- BLOOMBERG

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