[ RadSafe ] [Nuclear News] South Africa to build up to 10 more nuclear power plants: Eskom

Sandy Perle sandyfl at cox.net
Thu May 31 23:34:05 CDT 2007


South Africa to build up to 10 more nuclear power plants: Eskom
South Africa looks to more nuclear power
1940 guide to a nuclear reactor `was cutting edge´
Consultant to study Ontario's nuclear options 
SSE in talks over investing in the next generation of nuclear power
China opens nuclear power sector to foreign investors
Russia, Australia may expand nuclear energy cooperation - Rosatom

South Africa to build up to 10 more nuclear power plants: Eskom   
Cape Town - Despite problems at its Koeberg nuclear power plant near 
Cape Town South Africa's electricity utility Eskom on Thursday 
announced plans to build up to 10 more nuclear power stations. Eskom 
chief executive Jacob Maroga told reporters in Cape Town nuclear 
power was the most viable alternative to coal because of concerns 
over the greenhouse gases generated by burning coal, SAPA news agency 

Eskom wanted to ratchet up the proportion of electricity generated by 
conventional nuclear stations to 20,000 megawatts by 2025, he said. 
The government is expected to give its decision on the building of 
the new plants in 2008. 

Koeberg, the country's sole nuclear power plant, currently generates 
1800 megawatts from two 900 megawatt reactors. 

Earlier Thursday Eskom announced that a water leak in a generator at 
Koeberg had caused a shutdown of one of the two reactors for up to "a 
day or two" but said no outages were expected in the Western Cape 
province served by the plant. 

Eskom has already approved plans for a second nuclear power station, 
with France and Russia reportedly among the contenders to build it. 

South Africa is under pressure to bring new generating capacity 
online quickly to end the chronic power outages caused by inadequate 
surplus that are a feature of life in Africa's biggest economy. 

Eskom has budgeted 150 billion rand over the next five years towards 
the construction of new power plants. 

Koeberg is no stranger to mishaps involving generators - a misplaced 
bolt in a generator last year resulted in weeks-long power outages in 
the area.  

South Africa looks to more nuclear power

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, May 31 (UPI) -- South Africa's energy firm 
Eskom is looking to boost nuclear power capacity to 30 percent of 
total electricity supply, as demand continues to grow. 

The country's lone nuclear power plant in Koeberg, near Cape Town, 
powers 1,842 megawatts, which is 6 percent of South Africa's total 

But Eskom is releasing information on an environmental impact 
statement and calling for public comment on a planned 4,000 megawatt 
nuclear plant to be built at one of five potential coastal cities, 
reports World Nuclear News, a service of the World Nuclear 

Eskom wants to generate 30 percent of the country's electric supply 
by adding 20,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity by 2037. 

To do so would mean an investment in the country's electricity grid. 
Right now it is weary just delivering power to a portion of the 
country; an additional 300,000 homes are connected each year. Much of 
the electricity comes from coal. But there are plans to double the 
grid's capacity by 2020. 

Construction of the new plant could start in two years. It would use 
Eskom's pressurized water reactors. South Africa is also pioneering a 
potential smaller reactor, the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor, which 
allows for nuclear energy that fits into smaller electricity grids. 
That technology has not been fully developed yet, and is behind 

1940 guide to a nuclear reactor `was cutting edge´

Sealed wartime documents on how to make plutonium and build nuclear 
reactors were opened yesterday. 

The research papers had remained unread for 65 years after being 
posted to the Royal Society by James Chadwick, who won a Nobel prize 
for his discovery of the neutron. He felt that the contents were too 
sensitive to publish at the time in case they fell into enemy hands 
so he sent them to the society for safe-keeping. 

Yesterday, to mark the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the 
neutron - which resulted in the development of nuclear physics - the 
wax seals on the five envelopes were broken and the contents put on 

Brian Cox, a particle physicist and Royal Society research Fellow, 
said: "These papers describe what was cutting edge science at the 

"The sheer amount of knowledge they contain amazes me. Only eight 
years after Chadwick discovered that a neutron even existed, these 
scientists are already looking at how to use neutrons to bring about 
nuclear fission and energy. 

"I can see why these papers were locked away during the war - they 
contain details that could be used to build a nuclear reactor. They 
are a truly significant part of nuclear history." 

The papers detail experiments on nuclear fission carried out by two 
scientists, Hans Von Halban and Lew Kowarski, who worked in 

One document, entitled Technological aspects of nuclear chain 
reactions used as a source of power, lists the various components 
required to make a nuclear reactor, or "boiler". 

It describes the process of making plutonium from uranium as a means 
to generate "new nuclei", which are required to initiate and maintain 
nuclear fission. 

Plutonium was first created a few months after Chadwick posted the 
documents to the Royal Society, but a nuclear reaction was not 
achieved until a year later. 

The paper also documents various experiments using different 
substances as a means to stabilise nuclear chain reactions, to 
generate constant energy rather than mass explosions. 

The scientists postulate that "the future nuclear industry may rely 
on uranium" - a theory that has since been proved correct. 

But in his covering letter to the society, Chadwick emphasised that 
it would be inadvisable to publish the information because huge 
energy releases from nuclear fission could be used irresponsibly.

Consultant to study Ontario's nuclear options 
OTTAWA (CBC) - Ontario has hired a multinational company to conduct 
an independent study of available nuclear reactor technology 
McKinsey & Company is to complete its review of the technical and 
economic profiles of each option by later this year, said a news 
release from the Ontario government issued Thursday.

The government announced last June that it would likely build two new 
nuclear reactors.

Steve Erwin, a spokesman for the Ministry of Energy, said they are 
intended to replace older reactors, not create new generating 

Erwin estimated the study will cost about $3 million. "We think it's 
money well spent because these are multibillion decisions," he said.

"It's not meant to recommend [to] the government who we should go 
with. It's just to compile the information," he added.

Energy Minister Dwight Duncan said in a statement that the new study 
follows the Ontario Power Generation Review Committee's 2004 
recommendation to look internationally for the best technology.

"The government has consistently stated that it prefers to use 
Canadian companies and technology, but that the decision will be 
based on the best technology offered at the best price that provides 
the greatest benefits and lowest risks over the lifetime of the new 
facilities," the release said.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Energy, nuclear plants account 
for over 50 per cent of the province's electricity generation.

Ontario nuclear plants are officially capable of producing 14,000 
megawatts of electricity. However, some are currently being 
refurbished and 1,000 megawatts of the province's capacity cannot be 
brought back online for a reasonable cost, the province says.

McKinsey & Company has 90 offices in 51 countries, including one in 
Calgary, and offers consulting services related to 18 industries, 
including electric power. It beat out other consultants in a 
competitive bidding process, the province said.

SSE in talks over investing in the next generation of nuclear power 

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) yesterday confirmed it was 
pondering an investment in Britain´s next generation of nuclear power 
facilities, as it reported a surge in annual profits. 

The group, which trades as Southern Electric and Scottish Hydro 
Electric, said it had held talks with a number of parties, including 
British Energy, over what role it could play. 

Ian Marchant, chief executive, said the two companies talked about 
the possibility of SSE investing in a new nuclear plant, as well as 
the potential for the utility group to buy more nuclear power. 

"We´ve been working quietly on that for about a year and we´ll 
probably work on it for about six to 12 months before we can see how 
we might be doing that," he said. 

Related Links
Generator urged to make quick cut 
The company has been rumoured as a possible partner for British 
Energy after the nuclear group made an open call for partners to help 
finance new nuclear facilities. 

Last week´s Energy White Paper expressed a preference for the greater 
use of nuclear power to meet the country´s energy needs, in part 
because of its environmental credentials over coal-fired power 

The Government has launched a consultation on the use of more nuclear 
power, with new facilities needed to replace the capacity that will 
be lost in the coming years as existing facilities are 
decommissioned. It is expected to endorse new nuclear build by the 
end of the year. 

British Energy, which has sites to build a new plant, has also held 
talks with Centrica, the British Gas owner, and ScottishPower. Other 
groups including EDF and Areva are also thought to be possible 

A direct investment in nuclear power generation would be a new move 
for SSE, which generates energy from its coal-fired power stations, 
wind farms and hydropower facilities. 

Confirmation of talks with British Energy came as SSE reported pretax 
profits up 23½ per cent to £1.1 billion before one-off items, 
bolstered by improvements at its power generation and gas storage 

Mr Marchant said the group continues to grow its water business 
organically, recently securing a licence from Ofwat to supply water 
and sewerage service-to end customers. He said the company could be 
interested in buying a water company in the future, but that current 
prices were too high. 

The group also committed to cut the carbon dioxide emissions 
generated at its power stations by 20 per cent. If the targets are 
hit the company will, by 2015-16, be emitting five million fewer 
tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than it did in the 2005-
06 financial year. 

Powering on

-Alistair Darling, the Trade and Industry Secretary, made it clear 
that nuclear power was not so much an option but a necessary choice 
when he presented the Energy White Paper last week 

-Despite announcing plans for a consultation on the issue he also 
made it clear that the Government was firmly behind plans to build a 
new generation of nuclear plants 

-Nuclear power plants are less polluting than many alternatives, 
including traditional coal-fired power stations 

-All but one of the UK´s nuclear plants will have reached the end of 
their life by 2023

China opens nuclear power sector to foreign investors

Beijing, May 31: China has opened up its nuclear power generating 
sector to domestic and foreign investors. 

Companies will be allowed to invest in China's nuclear power 
generating projects but cannot hold a controlling stake, a senior 
official with the State Commission of Science and Technology for 
National Defence Industry said Wednesday.

China is keen to boost development of the nuclear power industry.

The country's draft nuclear energy law is being revised, Wang Yiren, 
head of the commission's No.2 system engineering department said.

According to China's longer-term development plan for the nuclear 
power industry, nuclear power capacity will increase to 40 million kw 
in 2020, with construction work beginning on at least three nuclear 
power generating units every year in the next 10 years.

Currently, there are 10 commercial nuclear power generating units 
operational in China, including the No.1 unit at Tianwan nuclear 
power station in east China's Jiangsu Province, which came on stream 
on May 17. Their combined installed capacity stands at eight million 

The other nine units include Qinshan, Dayawan, and No 2 and 3 phases 
of Qinshan and Ling'ao. Four units are being built as the second 
phase of the Ling'ao project in south China's Guangdong Province and 
the second phase of the Qinshan project in eastern China's Zhejiang 

According to Wang Yiren, China's nuclear industry generated 54.8 
billion kw/h of electricity last year, less than 2 percent of the 
nation's total.

The government wants the nuclear industry to contribute 4 percent of 
the nation's energy needs by 2020.

Russia, Australia may expand nuclear energy cooperation - Rosatom
MOSCOW, May 31 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and Australia will expand nuclear 
power cooperation, the press service of the Russian federal atomic 
energy agency told Itar-Tass on Thursday. 

On Wednesday, "Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko met with the director-
general of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office, 
John Carlson, in Moscow to discuss bilateral cooperation in peaceful 
use of nuclear energy," the press service said. 

Kiriyenko described cooperation with Australia as "one of Russia´s 

"Russia is interested in Australia´s uranium imports," he said. 

The top official did not rule out that Australia may step up nuclear 
energy, which "may expand framework of Russian-Australian 

The two parties also discussed "key issues pertaining to a new 
intergovernmental agreement on civil use of nuclear energy that 
Russia and Australia plan to sign this September," the press service 

The effective agreement inked back in 1990 "does not meet demands of 
the two countries´ modern-day cooperation in this area," the source 

Experts say that contacts of Russian and Australian nuclear power 
companies become more regular. They cited as an example recent 
meetings of Russia´s nuclear energy producer Tekhsnabexport with 
Australia´s uranium producers in Moscow and Sydney. 

Australia is one of the world´s largest uranium producers. 

Sandy Perle 
Global Dosimetry Solutions, Inc. 
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614

Tel: (949) 296-2306 / (888) 437-1714 Extension 2306 
Fax:(949) 296-1144

E-Mail: sperle at dosimetry.com
E-Mail: sandyfl at cox.net

Global Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com/ 

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