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South Africa beefs up local nuclear resources to support energy needs
by Staff Writers
Cape Town, South Africa (XNA) Jun 15, 2016

File image: Koeberg nuclear power station.

Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown on Thursday launched the Nuclear Operator Pipeline project at the Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town as part of plans to beef up local nuclear resources to support the country's needs.

The project will provide a training platform for developing a robust nuclear operator pipeline for South Africa, said Brown.

The programme, spanning five years, aims to build a path to ensure that there are sufficient local nuclear resources to service the country's present and future nuclear needs, according to the minister.

One hundred people have been recruited by Eskom, the country's major electricity provider, to undergo training in the program.

After the five-year period, the trainees will qualify as nuclear plant operators or will enter related careers.

"What is inspiring is that approximately 95 percent of students are 35 years and younger, and about 40 percent are black females from various parts of the country," said Brown.

The Chairman of the Eskom Board Baldwin Ngubane said: "We support national initiatives like the National Development Plan to build skills amongst the youth of South Africa for Eskom as well as the country's needs."

He said the country's new nuclear build will require additional resources for operations and the nuclear operator training programme is geared towards ensuring that the South African youth who has aspirations to access a career path in nuclear has a chance at realizing their dreams.

This intake of 100 young people will be trained up and will provide a platform for developing a robust Nuclear Operator pipeline for Koeberg, the only nuclear power station in Africa, Ngubane said.

South Africa has been pursuing the nuclear program to make up power shortage. Late last year, the South African cabinet approved a 9,600 MW nuclear procurement program to augment its erratic power supply.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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