Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to nuclear energy.

She said in a written reply to a parliamentary question by EFF MP Mzingisi Dlamini that nuclear energy was the "declared intention of government guided by the Nuclear Energy Policy of 2008 and Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010-30".

"This option exists to ensure that key objectives of the National Development Plan 2010-30, especially on socioeconomic development and job creation, are achieved.

"Since 2010, the IRP 2010-30 has guided procurement of other technology options, some of which are already generating electricity to the national grid. The department is currently in the process of updating the IRP and has consulted the stakeholders."

Finalisation of the IRP will determine the role of nuclear energy in the energy mix and when it will be required.

Dlamini wanted to know why the Department of Energy persisted with its nuclear energy plan when research by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research had demonstrated that it was more expensive than renewable energy.

Kubayi said the CSIR had made submissions to the department on the integrated resource plan base case and the assumptions used in formulating it.

She said the department was engaging on this and various other inputs in order to finalise the plan by the last quarter of the financial year 2017-18.

"I believe the department has recognised the importance of costs in this exercise and I believe it is important to afford us the room to engage and address all inputs we have received to date towards completing the task at hand," the minister said.

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