The energy crisis in South Africa is a slow-growing thorn in the side of local business and a standard concern for foreign investors. The country's aging energy infrastructure has been left unattended with no new power stations being built in the past two decades.
President Jacob Zuma has sought to address this problem by turning to nuclear energy on a massive scale. Currently, Koeberg power station is the only nuclear power station in South Africa, contributing 5 percent to the country's 42,000 megawatts of power with almost all of the rest coming from coal.
A nuclear power station is estimated to take over a decade to build with a price tag that could exceed $90 billion. South Africa has already signed agreements with France and Russia outlining the framework on future discussions for nuclear power and procurement. However, no deals have been signed yet. A tender process involving other nuclear vendor countries including China, United States, Korea, and Japan is likely to be followed.
Greenpeace's Melita Steele says nuclear is a dead-end option: “The reality is nuclear is neither safe nor cheap.”
While Mail & Guardian science editor Sarah Wild questioned how South Africa will deal with a project of this magnitude.
Matthew Klynsmith earned a business administration diploma at CTI in Cape Town, South Africa. He now works at Strategic Options as an associate partner. To read more reports from Matthew Klynsmith, Go Here Now.
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