Why Jacob Zuma was right about nuclear and what he really meant

Why Jacob Zuma was right about nuclear and what he really meant

10 years ago, then-President Jacob Zuma insisted that nuclear power could have saved South Africa from a power crisis. Considering that the proposed programme was expected to deliver its first supply of power last year, he may have actually been right.

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Former president Jacob Zuma recently made comments that his proposed nuclear programme would have saved South Africa from its current energy crisis.

Setting the comments in context, he had not been referring to the 2015 build proposal, which had been dubbed as too expensive for the country, but to his 'Nuclear Once' programme proposed in 2007.

This would have seen Westinghouse and Areva, overseas companies, entering into a tendering process to supply SA with 10 gigawatts of nuclear energy, reports Business Live.

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READ ALSO: Told you so: Zuma says nuclear could have saved SA from load-shedding

Energy expert Des Muller is adamant that this deal would have allowed for stability as far as power was concerned in the country, a glaring reminder of how vital long-term planning is.

If the project had gone forward in 2008 as intended, the local industry would have had time to adjust to the shift from coal-powered generation and the nuclear programme would have delivered its first load of electricity last year.

Muller is also convinced that the coastal areas the plants would have been built in would have enjoyed an unexpected perk from their arrival.

"Because nuclear power plants would have been built in the southern coastal regions, transmission losses would have significantly reduced while providing the drought-stricken Cape with effective water desalination and thus averting the water crisis."

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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