Nuclear energy in South Africa

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Koeberg Nuclear Power Station

South Africa is the only country in Africa with a commercial nuclear power plant.[1][nb 1]

Two reactors located at the Koeberg nuclear power station accounts for around 4% of South Africa's electricity production.[2] Spent fuel is disposed of at Vaalputs Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility in the Northern Cape.

The SAFARI-1 tank in pool [3]research reactor is located at the Pelindaba nuclear research centre in Gauteng

New build[edit]

Koeberg in red with the other potential nuclear sites in blue

The 2010 Integrated Resource Plan envisages building 9,600 MWe of new nuclear power capacity, by a programme of between six and eight new nuclear reactors, by 2030. The government is considering the practicality and financing of such a programme.[4][5]

In 2008 Max Lee, CEO of Eskom, announced Eskom plans to build 20 GW of nuclear power by 2025; the first station with a capacity of between 3,300 and 4,000 MW could be completed by 2017.[6] However the investment decision to go ahead with this was not made.[2]

Until 2010 South Africa had an expansion policy based upon the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR), but government financing was withdrawn because of missed deadlines and lack of customers.[2]

Several groups, including Earthlife Africa and Koeberg Alert, oppose these plans.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As at 2011.


  1. ^ Hinshaw, Drew. "Africa looks to nuclear power". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Nuclear Power in South Africa". World Nuclear Association. December 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Vlok, JWH. "REACTOR OPERATIONS AT SAFARI-1" (PDF). Manager: Reactor Operations SAFARI-1 Research Reactor NECSA. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  4. ^ Lionel Faull (23 March 2012). "South Africa’s nightmare nuclear bill". Mail & Guardian Online. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Nuclear Power in South Africa". Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "South Africa announces plans to build 20 GW of nuclear capacity by 2025". Power Engineering International (PennWell Corporation). 10 January 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2012.