Government concludes nuclear vendor parade

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pretoria - Government has concluded the nuclear vendor parade workshop that forms part of the country’s process towards the nuclear build programme, said the Department of Energy (DoE).

“Parallel to this work and as part of the preparatory phase, government successfully concluded the nuclear vendor parade workshops. The first workshop was held during the week of 20 October 2014 with the Russian Federation.

“The second workshop was held with the French Republic, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea (South Korea) and United States of America during the period of 16 - 25 November 2014.

“Government has recently (21 – 29 March 2015) concluded the third and final workshop with Canada and Japan,” said the department on Tuesday.

The nuclear vendor parade workshops entail vendor countries presenting their nuclear technology offerings. The platform was created for vendor countries to showcase their capabilities on how, if chosen, they plan to meet South Africa’s needs for the nuclear build programme, including the required 9 600 MW nuclear power capacity.

The vendor parade workshops are part of government’s technical investigation in preparation for a procurement decision.

Senior technical officials from different government departments, energy related state owned entities and academia involved in nuclear and engineering programmes participated in the workshops to engage in robust and open technical discussions with the vendors, as well as among themselves.

The department said the conclusion of the vendor parade marks a significant milestone in the government pre-procurement phase for the roll out of the nuclear new build programme.

“Government wants to be self-sufficient in exploiting the entire nuclear fuel cycle for peaceful use of nuclear technology to address the socioeconomic needs of the country,” said the department.

In keeping with this policy requirement, the vendor countries were requested to present their offerings to address the entire nuclear new build programme value chain focusing on the following key aspects:

  • Nuclear Power Plant Technology and Construction;
  • Multipurpose Research Reactor Technology and Construction;
  • Financing and Commercial Matters;
  • Manufacturing, Industrialisation and Localisation;
  • Human Resources and Skills Development;
  • Public Awareness and Information Centres;
  • Safety, Liability and Licensing;
  • Nuclear Fuel Cycle (front and back end);
  • Nuclear Siting and Permitting and
  • Nuclear Non-proliferation Matters.

Building an energy secure future

Over the past six-month period, a high powered delegation of up to 80 South African nuclear experts, guided by the policy prescripts, have thoroughly interrogated and analysed the technological offerings for the vendor countries during the pre-procurement phase.

The outcome of the pre-procurement phase has demonstrated that each of the vendor countries presented unique proposals to implement the nuclear new build programme.

“This outcome will support the government decision-making processes to develop a transparent, fair, cost effective and competitive procurement process for selecting a strategic partner(s) to implement the nuclear new build programme,” the department said.

Going forward, the procurement process will be presented for approval by the Energy Security Cabinet Subcommittee and endorsed by Cabinet.

Once endorsed by Cabinet, the procurement process will be presented for deliberation by Parliament. Government will then launch a procurement process well in time to ensure that South Africa commissions the first unit by 2023 and the last unit by 2030. 

“Government remains committed to ensure energy security for the country through the roll out of the nuclear new build programme as an integral part of the energy mix.

“Government remains committed to ensuring the provision of reliable and sustainable electricity supply as part of mitigating the risk of carbon emissions.

“The nuclear new build programme will enable the country to create jobs, develop skills, create industries and catapult the country into a knowledge economy,” said the department. -

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