Whether SA needs multiple new nuclear reactors built by the Russians, the French or the Chinese or not is far from resolved yet. The publication of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) on Tuesday should have put paid to the debate but it has left the door open on it. It is now up to the public and stakeholders, who will weigh in on the public consultation process, as well as the Department of Energy and the Cabinet finally to determine the outcome. The fight is still on. While the plan should achieve several objectives — it plans for energy security, for the least cost of energy and for appropriate infrastructure — it has become singularly focused on the nuclear debate, because of the amount of political pressure there has been from the top office in the land to do a large nuclear deal. Technical planners and government officials have, for the past year, been working under duress to tinker with assumptions and costs to come up with a plan that provides the "right" outcomes. And this i...

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