South Africa dumps Zuma’s expensive nuclear plan

South Africa will no longer expand its 1,860 megawatts (MW) nuclear power plant but will increase capacity in other energy sources such as natural gas and wind.

Despite criticisms, mostly over cost, former President Jacob Zuma had initiated a project to add 9,600MW of nuclear power by 2030, which was estimated to cost $72 billion. However, President Cyril Ramaphosa upon taking over in February agreed that the nuclear expansion plan was too expensive and unnecessary at the moment.

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said on Monday as he released the South African government’s new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), that if nuclear power in the country will be increased at all, it won’t happen before 2030.

Radebe said the IRP calls for additional capacity of 8,100 MW from wind and 8,100 MW from gas, 5,670 MW from photovoltaic panels, 2,500 MW from hydro and 1,000 MW from coal by 2030. South Africa currently has sufficient energy capacity.