I am not in the nuclear business, but still believe nuclear energy could play an economically viable and important part in SA’s energy mix. At this stage of development, renewables require backup. SA’s weather statistics show it would require almost 100% backup. To have reliable supply, 1MW of backup would have to be installed for every 1MW of renewable installed. This hardly makes renewables economical. The Inga scheme would be brilliant because it is a form of renewable energy, but after being discussed for at least 50 years there is still no proper plan on the table. It would take many years to finalise the plans and political agreements and to build this great scheme. Options for backup include gas turbines, which have low capital cost, but crippling running costs and very poor CO² performance; coal (medium capital cost and medium running costs, but poor CO² performance); or nuclear that has high capital cost and low running costs. Using current costs as a basis it seems a mix o...

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