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South Africa considers more funding for nuclear plants: official

(Xinhua)

14:35, February 29, 2012

CAPE TOWN, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- South Africa may allocate more funding for nuclear power plants, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Tuesday.

In view of growing energy demand, the 300 billion rand (about 39 billion U.S. dollars) allocated in the government budget for 2012/2013 may not be the final amount, Peters said at a media briefing here.

"I think that the amount of money that has been allocated... for the nuclear build is not a thumb-suck, and we don't actually think that is the end amount, but we believe that it is the beginning," she said.

But she refused to give details on the specifications or tenders for the nuclear plants.

"I don't want to pre-empt the work of (the government's) nuclear energy co-ordinating committee," Peters said.

In its integrated resource plan, the government aims to increase the nuclear output to 9.6GW by 2029.

Peters said late last year that South Africa planned to spend an estimated 400 billion rand (about 52 billion dollars) on building up its nuclear electricity-generating capacity.

Whatever the total figure, the spending had to benefit the country, she said.

"Our cost estimate is 400 billion rand... but we believe whatever is spent must benefit South Africans." said Peters.

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