Decision on nuclear power soon

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Copy of ben martins Independent Newspapers Ben Martins is theMineral Affairs and Energy minister. File photo: Leon Nicholas

Cape Town - Key decisions on South Africa's nuclear energy programme will be made in the next six months, the energy department said on Thursday.

“We have indicated that a decision on the investment of (a) nuclear power plant will be made within this financial year, that means before the end of March 2014,” deputy director general Zizamele Mbambo told journalists at Parliament.

Energy Minister Dikobe Ben Martins told the briefing South Africa would be consulting experts from various countries on the matter.

“We'll be conducting study tours to Russia, France... meeting with the Koreans... so within the remit of those engagements at a future date we'll announce exactly how far we are with the nuclear (energy) build process.”

It also emerged at the briefing that a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency on the state of South Africa's nuclear infrastructure had been completed in May this year.

“Yes, the report is ready,” Mbambo said.

However, recommendations made in the report still had to be processed and presented to Cabinet for consideration.

Several other aspects also needed to be considered before government could make a final decision on the nuclear build programme and how it would be funded.


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