The government published on Tuesday long-awaited energy planning documents that pushed the nuclear procurement programme back by 15 years, suggesting that new nuclear power would only be needed on stream by 2037. But despite the delay, Eskom said that it would go ahead and issue a tender for the construction of new nuclear power stations by December as it still remained possible, under some scenarios, that nuclear power would be required by 2025. With a 10-year lead time, this would require it to start building. The Department of Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which has not been updated since 2010, models scenarios based on energy demand and the cost of various technologies. The department released the plan for public comment on Tuesday at a briefing by officials and Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson in Cape Town. The "base case", or starting scenario, shows that the need for nuclear energy can be postponed to 2037. The last iteration of the plan in 2010 said that nuc...

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