5 Nuke questions that need answers

Hard-hitting questions must be asked in parliament about South Africa’s proposed nuclear power programme when the Department of Energy briefs MPs tomorrow on the deal, experts say.

eskom crises

The programme has been shrouded in mystery and dogged by allegations of corruption.

The nuclear programme will dwarf the multi billion-rand arms deal in both size and scope.

Energy analyst Ted Blom said the main issues are licensing, safety and whether the country has the skills to implement the programme.

He said the questions that should be put to Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson include:

  • Why is she ignoring the household solar solution that can add 8000MW to the national power grid in under 12 months at zero capital cost to the state or Eskom?
  • The electricity price has increased 2300% since 1994. By what percentage will it increase over the next five years?
  • What incentive is being offered to private investors in power generation, and how will they access the grid?
  • How is Eskom going to deliver electricity when the coal runs out over the next three years at its Mpumalanga power stations? Will South Africa have more blackouts?
  • How much of Eskom’s current capacity of 42GW is in a “fit state of repair”, able to see out the next five years without major overhauls?

Blom said for the nuclear programme to work “we have to have hands-on skills not just academic knowledge”

Source: Times Live

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