Failure to address setbacks with the production of radioisotopes was one of the reasons Necsa's board was sacked, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Parliament - The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) remained a growing concern but its future remained uncertain, members of Parliament (MPs) were told on Tuesday.

Briefing Parliament's energy portfolio committee, Necsa board chairman Rob Adam addressed concerns raised by Auditor General Kimi Makwethu last week about Necsa's ability to keep operating.

"Currently Necsa is a growing concern but the trajectory is towards it not remaining one," Adam told the committee.

"You have to refocus the organisation on extracting value from what it's supposed to do -- develop nuclear technology."

Adam was appointed last year, after Energy Minister Jeff Radebe sacked the board, three of whom are challenging the decision in court.

At the time, Radebe cited acts of defiance, ineptitude and a failure to address serious setbacks with the production of medical radioisotopes, used in cancer treatment.

Operations at NTP Radioisotopes, a subsidiary of Necsa, came to a standstill in November 2017 after the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) found transgressions on safety protocols. Revenue and profits dipped significantly since then. NTP started limited operations in November 2018 and are still awaiting approval from the NNR to bring the plant into full operation.

African News Agency (ANA)