‘I don’t know of a secret plan’‚ says Eskom’s nuclear chief

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‘I don’t know of a secret plan’‚ says Eskom’s nuclear chief

TMG Digital | 2017-05-18 20:05:22.0

Nicholls reaffirmed Eskom’s position that nuclear is not just the most viable option on the table for South Africa’s future energy needs‚ but it is also affordable. File photo

Image by: EE Publishers via YouTube

There are no secrets and corruption in the nuclear deal is unlikely‚ says Eskom’s Chief Nuclear Officer David Nicholls.

He was speaking on Thursday at the Nuclear Power Africa conference that was co-located with the annual African Utility Week conference and expo.

“We are asked show us the nuclear plans you’ve signed with the Russians and I say I can’t do that. I don’t have one. I don’t know of a secret plan‚” Nicholls told delegates.

He insisted the process has been transparent yet “there is this presumption that behind this there is something else”.

Nicholls participated in a panel discussion on the country’s nuclear positioning where he told a fully packed briefing room there has been no procurement process on nuclear.

In 2014 South Africa signed intergovernmental agreements with among others Russia and China as part of the multi billion rand nuclear built plans.

But recently the Western Cape High Court found these agreements lacked transparency prompting the government to go back to the drawing board for a new and more transparent process. The government’s nuclear plans earlier also hit hurdles over costs and corruption claims.

Nicholls reaffirmed Eskom’s position that nuclear is not just the most viable option on the table for South Africa’s future energy needs‚ but it is also affordable.

Watch: Eskom’s David Nicholls explains the estimated pre-tax real levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of an Eskom-driven nuclear new-build in SA, and the assumptions on which this is based.



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