by South African Government News Agency

Motlanthe backs nuclear energy

Controversial energy source could unlock economic benefits

SA government backs nuclear energy
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The government remained committed to nuclear power generation to meet the country’s growing energy needs and facilitate economic growth in decades to come, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said recently.

“Nuclear power is ideal in this sense because we can build large nuclear power plants at points around our southern coastline, and potentially elsewhere in the future,” he told MPs.

Addressing the National Assembly during the Budget Vote of the Presidency, Motlanthe said nuclear power plant construction would also bring significant economic benefits to local industry. 

But he stressed that the government remained committed to investing in research and development of clean energy technologies, while conscious to ensure minimal environmental impact.

“Beyond this, South Africa has well-established regulatory health and safety standards critical to the management of nuclear systems and facilities,” he added. These measures, he said, include regulation on licensing, nuclear construction and fabrication, health and safety monitoring, and the training of the required skilled personnel. 

Motlanthe added that the government had approved the establishment of the National Nuclear Energy Executive Co-ordination Committee to make high-level recommendations on the country’s nuclear energy programme. 

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