China and South Africa sign accords

05 December 2014

Chinese and South African parties have signed several nuclear accords including a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a nuclear fuel cycle partnership, a financing framework agreement for the construction of a new nuclear power plant in South Africa, and an agreement on nuclear personnel training.

The agreements all follow on from the November signing of an inter-governmental framework agreement on nuclear cooperation by the two countries, a preparatory step towards the possible construction of Chinese nuclear power plants in South Africa. South Africa has also signed similar accords with France and Russia in recent months.

The MoU signed by the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) officially establishes a cooperative partnership between the two companies that will see CNNC support South Africa's nuclear industry, according to a statement from CNNC.

China's State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC), the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and South Africa's Standard Bank Group signed a power project financing framework agreement, enabling cooperation on the financing of a nuclear power plant construction project in South Africa.

The third agreement, also signed by SNPTC and Necsa, will see SNPTC provide training to South African nuclear personnel through providing training to around 300 South African nuclear professionals in a scheme involving two years of basic training, professional training and in-service training. The scheme will be officially launched in March 2015, according to SNPTC.

South Africa plans to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear capacity over coming years. As well as signing inter-governmental frameworks, the South African government has invited would-be reactor vendors to attend 'vendor parade workshops', hosted by the country's Department of Energy. The workshops are intended to form part of the government's technical investigations prior to making its procurement decision. So far, workshops have been attended by delegations from Russia, China, France, South Korea and the USA.

Addressing business leaders during his state visit, President Zuma said that nuclear energy cooperation was a particular area in which further Chinese investment would be encouraged. "We regard the memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the China National Nuclear Corporation and the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa as a mechanism which will enhance the mutual exchange of information, best practices and lessons learnt in the nuclear energy sector which will also encourage and identify additional opportunities for cooperation," he told a meeting of the China-South Africa Business Forum.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News