SA Must Decide on Nuclear within Year to Keep Up


"We are not behind the curve yet."

South African must make a decision on its nuclear program within a year in order to keep pace with countries moving toward nuclear-generated electricity, Areva SA chairman Mohamed Madhi said yesterday.

He said in an interview yesterday: "SA is a nuclear country. It has been one for decades. In terms of stimulus to kick-start the nuclear industry, there is sufficient understanding that SA needs to go nuclear.

"We are confident that the SA government is fully aware of the need to go nuclear. We are also confident that it will make the right decision on nuclear soon."

"We are not behind the curve yet. But the consequences of failure to make a decision for the South African economy are very negative," Madhi said.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said last month the next base load power station was likely to be nuclear. She was responding to allegations at the time that SA was planning to build more nuclear power stations.

Several organizations have called for the exclusion of nuclear in SA's future energy mix because of safety concerns.

Meanwhile, the Coalition Against Nuclear Energy, a group of bodies, including environmental groups, communities and non-governmental organizations who are opposed to nuclear power generation, last week led a march to the energy department in Pretoria demanding compensation for former SA Nuclear Corporation employees.

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