Eskom abandons nuclear plans

South African power utility Eskom on Friday said that it was “not in a position to invest in nuclear”, and has terminated the talks it was holding with global nuclear technology providers Westinghouse and Areva.

The utility said it has decided “not to proceed with the proposed investment in the Nuclear 1 project due to the magnitude of the investment” required.

Nuclear technology, which is known to demand high upfront capital expenditure, was expected to contribute up to 20 000MW to the country’s power grid by 2025.

Eskom said the proposed Nuclear 1 project would have resulted in the construction of the country’s second pressurised water reactor nuclear power plant. The Koeberg power station in the Western Cape remains South Africa’s first and only nuclear power station.

As a result of the decision, the Eskom board has terminated the commercial procurement process to select the preferred bidder for the construction of the project.

“The two bidders, the EPR consortium led by Areva of France and the N-Powerment consortium led by Westinghouse of the United States have been informed of this decision of the Eskom board,” the utility said.—I-net Bridge

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