Eskom submits site licence applications

15 March 2016

South African utility Eskom has submitted site applications for nuclear installations at Thyspunt in the Eastern Cape and Duynefontein in the Western Cape to the country's National Nuclear Regulator (NNR).

Both applications mentioned the applicant's intention to construct and operate "multiple nuclear installations (power reactors) and associated auxiliary nuclear installations of a plant type and technology not yet identified," the NNR said.

The regulator will now review the applications to determine their level of compliance with relevant regulations. The NNR will then decide whether the applications should be accepted for further technical assessments and public comment, or rejected and deferred to the applicant.

South Africa's Department of Energy received cabinet approval in December to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for the construction of the 9.6 GWe of new nuclear capacity called for under the country's energy policy. Last week, Reuters reported Department of Energy director general Thabane Zulu as saying that the RFP would be issued by the end of this month. Intergovernmental agreements have been signed with several vendor countries that have expressed interest in the nuclear new build program, but as yet no technology has been selected.

Eskom told World Nuclear News that the regulator will assess the suitability and acceptability of the Thyspunt and Duynefontein sites to accommodate a nuclear installation in accordance with the NNR's requirements.

"In accordance with nuclear energy policy of South Africa, Eskom has been designated the majority owner and operator of all nuclear power plants. This was confirmed by Cabinet. The responsibility of obtaining all the requisite licences and permits including Nuclear Installation Site licences are the responsibility of the owner/operator which is Eskom. This is independent of the procurement process," the company said.

Once a nuclear vendor has been decided upon, then a nuclear installation licence application will be initiated, Eskom said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News