All systems go for SA`s nuclear reactor

source: IOL
March 22 2008 at 03:10PM

By Thabiso Thakali

Controversy and lack of support may have delayed it for almost three years, but the hi-tech nuclear reactor that will produce South Africa’s electricity is forging ahead.

The R17-billion capital investment project will provide one of the solutions to SA’s power problem by 2013, according to Robert Peters, a senior consultant at the fuel development laboratories at the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor.

The high-temperature helium gas-cooled reactor is the first in a new generation. The project entails building a demonstration reactor at Koeberg outside Cape Town and a pilot fuel plant at Pelindaba near Pretoria.

‘Nuclear waste is not something you just dump’
The demonstration reactor design is completed, and construction is due to start next year, with the first fuel to be loaded four years later. If successful, another 10 plants could be built.

“Its nuclear-generated power has been proven to be clean, highly efficient and cost-effective. It can be built anywhere because it is proliferation resistant,” explained Peters.

Although not the only technology being developed, the South African project is to become the [continue reading]



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